Magazine January 28, 2013, Issue

Hollywood’s America

The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV, by Paul A. Cantor (University Press of Kentucky, 488 pp., $35)

Amid the tumescent number of academic books on popular culture, there is very little of genuine interest. The books are mostly attempts to make philosophy or literature seem relevant by juxtaposing scenes or quotations from films with quips from the great thinkers. Paul Cantor’s work is of a much higher order. A Shakespeare scholar who teaches at Virginia, Cantor is the author of the very well received Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization (2003). A careful reader of literary texts, Cantor is also an astute observer of contemporary media. His work at the intersection of popular culture

Thomas S. HibbsThomas S. Hibbs is the dean of the honors college and distinguished professor of philosophy at Baylor University.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Off the Cliff

For a few weeks around New Year’s Day, Washington, D.C., turned topsy-turvy. Well, topsy-turvier than usual. Conservative groups blasted a huge tax increase, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the size ...
Politics & Policy

Nixon at 100

As President Nixon sat in the Oval Office on Wednesday, June 2, 1971, the sun’s rays splashing brilliantly across the blue and gold carpet embroidered with the presidential seal, he ...
Politics & Policy

Bork Vivant

Was Bob Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court finally undone by the fact that he had a beard? Not that his beard was the sole obstacle, of course. The vicious ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Race and the Constitution

November’s electoral setbacks have prompted conservatives to reconsider their beliefs and rhetoric on a variety of issues. While they debate new ideas on immigration, taxes, and entitlements, they should not ...

Books, Arts & Manners

City Desk

Pigeon Watching

The city has been great for species other than man — roaches and rats; cats and dogs; once upon a time, horses. Another big winner in the lottery of urbanization ...
Politics & Policy

Nation-Building

The emergence and ultimate ascendance of the English-speaking peoples — the Anglosphere — is the salient fact of modern history. And the colonization of America is the turning point in ...
Politics & Policy

City of Lights

‘From the moment it began,” argues Michael Neiberg, a history professor at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., “the liberation of Paris was an almost mythical affair.” He is ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

O’Neill Uncensored In his memoir In Confidence, former Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin wrote of an encounter he had had with House speaker Tip O’Neill: “O’Neill said no effort should be spared ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Egyptian prosecutors are investigating a popular television comedian for insulting the president. That could never happen here. When do popular television comedians insult the president? ‐ Chuck Hagel, the Republican ...
Athwart

Keep the Change

There are many compelling reasons to mint a trillion-dollar coin, including “plot device for Mission: Impossible 5.” The coin has been stolen, and nefarious enemies of the United States intend ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

SCRAPS The hunt, for both, was empty as the light blue sky . . . the solitary gull and the eagle, at day’s end, find what little remains from the ice fisherman’s bucket; the gull landing ...
Happy Warrior

The Veil Descends

In the summer of 2010, mourners lined the streets of Wales’s capital city to pay tribute to a seven-year-old boy killed in a house fire. In fact, Yaseen Ali Ege ...

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