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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines

The first of three volumes charting the history of the Modernist Magazine in Britain, North America, and Europe, this collection offers the first comprehensive study of the wide and varied range of ‘little magazines’ which were so instrumental in introducing the new writing and ideas that came to constitute literary and artistic modernism in the UK and Ireland. In thirty-seven chapters covering over eighty magazines expert contributors investigate the inner dynamics and economic and intellectual conditions that governed the life of these fugitive but vibrant publications. We learn of the role of editors and sponsors, the relation of the arts to contemporary philosophy and politics, the effects of war and economic depression and of the survival in hard times of radical ideas and a belief in innovation. The chapters are arranged according to historical themes with accompanying contextual introductions, and include studies of the New Age, Blast, the Egoist and the Criterion, New Writing, New Verse , and Scrutiny as well as of lesser known magazines such as the Evergreen, Coterie, the Bermondsey Book, the Mask, Welsh Review, the Modern Scot, and the Bell. To return to the pages of these magazines returns us a world where the material constraints of costs and anxieties over censorship and declining readerships ran alongside the excitement of a new poem or manifesto. This collection therefore confirms the value of magazine culture to the field of modernist studies; it provides a rich and hitherto under-examined resource which both brings to light the debate and dialogue out of which modernism evolved and helps us recover the vitality and potential of that earlier discussion.

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Modern Romance

Now a New York Times Bestseller

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices

At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?” 

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.

From the Hardcover edition.

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The Creation of the Media

America’s leading role in today’s information revolution may seem simply to reflect its position as the world’s dominant economy and most powerful state. But by the early nineteenth century, when the United States was neither a world power nor a primary center of scientific discovery, it was already a leader in communications-in postal service and newspaper publishing, then in development of the telegraph and telephone networks, later in the whole repertoire of mass communications.In this wide-ranging social history of American media, from the first printing press to the early days of radio, Paul Starr shows that the creation of modern communications was as much the result of political choices as of technological invention. With his original historical analysis, Starr examines how the decisions that led to a state-run post office and private monopolies on the telegraph and telephone systems affected a developing society. He illuminates contemporary controversies over freedom of information by exploring such crucial formative issues as freedom of the press, intellectual property, privacy, public access to information, and the shaping of specific technologies and institutions. America’s critical choices in these areas, Starr argues, affect the long-run path of development in a society and have had wide social, economic, and even military ramifications. The Creation of the Media not only tells the history of the media in a new way; it puts America and its global influence into a new perspective.