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Art Books Documentaries Films Learning

“The Booksellers”: A Documentary for Bibliophiles and Collectors

“The relationship of the individual to the book is very much like a love affair.”

Anyone that has studied or researched the finer points of books, particularly rare books, knows that it is a more complicated and layered world than most would imagine.

How do you identify a first edition? What makes a book rare? What is an “antiquarian” book? What makes a book valuable? And who are these people that dedicate their lives to answering such questions?

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America Books History Reviews

Daring to read, think, speak and write – “The Education of John Adams” Reviewed

“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.”

John Adams, “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law”

John Adams took his last breath on July 4, 1826, on the fiftieth anniversary of his – and his fellow revolutionaries’ – greatest achievement.

Categories
America Books History Reviews

Personality Over Policy: An American Tradition – “The Problem of Democracy” Reviewed

Of all the hand-wringing about our current state of politics, a major complaint is that today’s voters choose personality and attitude over policy and ability. However, students of history know that this has been the case for centuries in America, almost from its inception.

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Books Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

“On Writing” for the Hip-Hop Culture: Rakim’s “Sweat the Technique” Reviewed

In most cases, progress and evolution happen slowly, over a period of time marked by small, incremental changes. Occasionally, however, a seismic shift occurs and a culture transforms overnight.

That is what happened in 1986 when a young man with a voice that sounded like it was from outer space came in the door and changed the game forever with “Eric B. Is President,” the first single from Eric B. & Rakim. The latter half of that duo was still in high school when he introduced a “new era of rhyme style” with complex internal rhymes full of multisyllabic words and a relaxed, composed delivery that was more conversational than shouting.

It was a new day in hip-hop.

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Books Hip-Hop Reviews

A Fun, Glib, and Honest Trip Down Rap Memory Lane – “Ruffhouse” Reviewed

Growing up in the Philly area, there is a constant underlying feeling of inferiority, like a little brother, in regards to New York City, particularly within the realm of hip-hop.

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Books Films Hip-Hop Music Pop Culture Rap TV Uncategorized

The Things We’ve Lost in the Streaming Era

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I am old enough to remember a time before everything was readily available at all times.

Categories
America Books History Learning

The Best Books on John Adams

“I am but an ordinary Man. The Times alone have destined me to Fame — and even these have not been able to give me, much…Yet some great Events, some cutting Expressions, some mean Hypocrisies, have at Times, thrown this Assemblage of Sloth, Sleep, and littleness into Rage a little like a Lion.”

John Adams

I have a vivid memory – so clear that it’s like a snapshot – of sitting in an American Revolution class junior year as my professor, a brilliant man and a wonderful teacher, kept extolling the virtues of George Washington and juxtaposing them with John Adams, whom he referred to as “curmudgeonly” and “acerbic.”

That’s all I needed to hear.

Categories
Books History Reviews

A Beautiful Book about a Beautiful Mind – “John Adams’s Republic: The One, the Few, and the Many” Reviewed

“He saw the whole of a subject at a single glance, and by a happy union of the powers of reasoning and persuasion often succeeded in carrying measures which were at first sight of an unpopular nature.”

–Benjamin Rush

I imagine writing a book about John Adams in the 2010’s would be a daunting task.

At first glance, it appears that there is significant difficulty in writing about a member of a revered, almost mythical, group that died nearly two centuries ago.

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Books Life Music Wu-Tang Clan

The Most Unique Book in History: Ghostface Killah’s “The World According to Pretty Toney”

It’s no secret that I’m a Wu-Tang Clan superfan.

I know obscure trivia about the group. I have their logo on my coffee mug. I own old issues of The Source and XXL with the group on the cover. I also own items like the “Protect Ya Neck” cassette single, the “C.R.E.A.M.” single on vinyl, and the actual Purple Tape (the cassette version of Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…).

One of the more obscure Wu-related items I own is a copy of
The World According to Pretty Toney, a 2007 book by Ghostface Killah with J. Brightly.

Categories
Books Reviews

You Can’t Spell ‘Economics’ without ‘Comics’ — “Why Superman Doesn’t Take Over the World” Reviewed

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Generally speaking, economics books are not meant to make for pleasant reading.