Book Review: Hidden in the Mix – The African American Presence in Country Music by Diane Pecknold

“Hidden in the Mix is an enjoyable, enlightening and captivating read that finally gives recognition to the African American presence within one of the most successful music genres in the world.” Continue reading

60 Seconds With Michelle Green

You’re stranded on a desert island, but luckily you pre-empted it. Which book do you take with you?

“I would invest in a poetry collection because novels ‘end’ — Imagine reaching the last page of a novel without rescue in sight. Grim.

With that in mind, H.D.’s Trilogy or the aptly titled edited collection, Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times.” Continue reading

Selling Houses to Buy a Dream: White Diaspora and the Suburbs in Richard Ford’s Bascombe Trilogy

“The issues raised in Independence Day and The Lay of the Land – rising house prices, shoddy construction, profiting on the back of others’ aspirations (for what else does a realtor do than make money from people in search of their dream home?) – are still remarkably relevant today. The Markhams fall victim to their own outsized ambitions but also to the upswing of a property bubble that eventually crashed with devastating consequences for millions across America.” Continue reading

The Cold War and the Origins of US Democracy Promotion

“However, previous strategic tensions re-emerged as the George W. Bush and Obama administrations both soft-pedalled democracy promotion in friendly Middle Eastern states such as Egypt when it clashed with immediate geopolitical objectives, and were able to do so because the US government funds the NED and now implements the bulk of US democracy promotion programs. Due to this back-tracking the fall of the authoritarian Mubarak regime was followed by a power struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military rather than a pro-US democratic successor elite.” Continue reading

Review of “Created Equal?” IAAS Annual Conference 2014

“Conferences with specific themes can suffer from repetition, but the IAAS annual conference persisted in original thinking, valuable and creative research, and remarkable quality. I heard almost nothing negative about the proceedings and felt, from my own vantage, that so many issues of inequality – whether to do with race, gender, economy, or education – were discussed with such fine presentations that delegates left the conference invigorated, not wearied.” Continue reading