American Epic

The First Time America Heard Itself

Author: Bernard MacMahon,Allison McGourty

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501135627

Category: Music

Page: 288

View: 4119

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The companion book to the groundbreaking PBS and BBC documentary series celebrating the pioneers and artists of American roots music—blues, gospel, folk, Cajun, Appalachian, Hawaiian, Native American—without which there would be no jazz, rock, country R&B, or hip hop today. Jack White, T. Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford have teamed up to executive produce American Epic, a historical music project exploring the pivotal recording journeys of the early twentieth century, which for the first time captured the breadth of American music and made it available to the world. It was, in a very real way, the first time America truly heard herself. In the 1920s and 1930s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent—farmers, laborers, and ethnic minorities playing styles that blended the intertwining strands of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. These recordings form the bedrock for modern music as we know it, but during the Depression many record companies went out of business and more than ninety percent of the fragile 78 rpm discs were destroyed. Fortunately, thanks to the continuing efforts of cultural detectives and record devotees, the stories of America’s earliest musicians can finally be told. Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty, who directed and produced the documentary with American musician Duke Erikson, spent years traveling around the US in search of recollections of those musical pioneers. Their fascinating account, written with the assistance of prize-winning author Elijah Wald, continues the journey of the series and features additional stories, never-before-seen photographs, and unearthed artwork. It also contains contributions from many of the musicians who participated including Taj Mahal, Nas, Willie Nelson, and Steve Martin, plus a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible journey across America. American Epic is an extraordinary testament to our country’s musical roots, the transformation of our culture, and the artists who gave us modern popular music.

American Epic

The First Time America Heard Itself

Author: Bernard MacMahon,Allison McGourty

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501135600

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 9795

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The companion book to the groundbreaking PBS and BBC documentary series celebrating the pioneers and artists of American roots music—blues, gospel, folk, Cajun, Appalachian, Hawaiian, Native American—without which there would be no jazz, rock, country R&B, or hip hop today. Jack White, T. Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford have teamed up to executive produce American Epic, a historical music project exploring the pivotal recording journeys of the early twentieth century, which for the first time captured the breadth of American music and made it available to the world. It was, in a very real way, the first time America truly heard herself. In the 1920s and 1930s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent—farmers, laborers, and ethnic minorities playing styles that blended the intertwining strands of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. These recordings form the bedrock for modern music as we know it, but during the Depression many record companies went out of business and more than ninety percent of the fragile 78 rpm discs were destroyed. Fortunately, thanks to the continuing efforts of cultural detectives and record devotees, the stories of America’s earliest musicians can finally be told. Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty, who directed and produced the documentary with American musician Duke Erikson, spent years traveling around the US in search of recollections of those musical pioneers. Their fascinating account, written with the assistance of prize-winning author Elijah Wald, continues the journey of the series and features additional stories, never-before-seen photographs, and unearthed artwork. It also contains contributions from many of the musicians who participated including Taj Mahal, Nas, Willie Nelson, and Steve Martin, plus a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible journey across America. American Epic is an extraordinary testament to our country’s musical roots, the transformation of our culture, and the artists who gave us modern popular music.

The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

Author: Isabel Wilkerson

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0679763880

Category: Social Science

Page: 622

View: 3723

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Presents an epic history that covers the period from the end of World War I through the 1970s, chronicling the decades-long migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West through the stories of three individuals and their families.

Songsters and Saints

Vocal Traditions on Race Records

Author: Paul Oliver

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521269421

Category: Music

Page: 339

View: 6054

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Paul Oliver rediscovers the wealth of neglected vocal traditions represented on Race records.

American Roots Music

Author: Robert Santelli,Holly George-Warren

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

ISBN: 9780810982239

Category: Music

Page: 240

View: 704

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In the 20th century, American roots music - gospel, blues, country, western, folk, cajun, zydeco, tejano and Native American - was invented and nurtured in small communities and spread across the nation and the world. Eventually these traditional forms gave rise to the popular music that conquered the world: rhythm and blues, rockabilly, and rock and roll.

The Fords

An American Epic

Author: Peter Collier,David Horowitz

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 1893554325

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 411

View: 5879

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The Fords: An American Epic is the dramatic story of three generations of Fords and of the dramatic conflict between fathers and sons played out against the backdrop of America's greatest industrial empire. The story begins with Henry I, the mechanical wizard, tinkerer, and mad genius who drove the automobile into the heart of American life and conquered the world with it. But in the end he became an embittered crank who so possessively loved the company he built that when his son, Edsel, tried to change it to suit the times, Henry destroyed him. It was left to Edsel's son, Henry II, to avenge him and save the Ford Motor Company. From the details of Henry I's illicit affair, which produced an illegitimate son, to the life and loves of "Hank the Deuce" and his celebrated feud with Lee Iacocca, this is an engrossing account of a vital chapter in American history. The authors have added a new preface to this now classic work, showing how Henry II's line lost out to the line of his brother William Clay Ford in the quest to control the company in the twentieth century.

Lies Across America

What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong

Author: James W. Loewen

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 1595586768

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 5577

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In Lies Across America, James W. Loewen continues his mission, begun in the award-winning Lies My Teacher Told Me, of overturning the myths and misinformation that too often pass for American history. This is a one-of-a-kind examination of sites all over the country where history is literally written on the landscape, including historical markers, monuments, historic houses, forts, and ships. Lies Across America is a realty check for anyone who has ever sought to learn about America through the nation's public sites and markers. Entertaining and enlightening, it is destined to change the way American readers see their country.

Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing

Author: Cary Ginell,Roy Lee Brown

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 9780252020414

Category: Music

Page: 330

View: 3365

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In Milton Brown and the Founding of Western Swing, Cary Ginell vividly portrays memorable personalities, stylistic growth, musical rivalry, touring, recording sessions, business practices, and driving determination. Drawing on a rich array of primary resources, including oral histories, family scrapbooks, and newspaper files, he documents Brown's role in creating Western swing, a musical genre that still resonates in George Strait's recent recording of "Right or Wrong" (originally a Brown hit) and the vibrant energy of the band Asleep at the Wheel.

Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana

The 1934 Lomax Recordings

Author: Joshua Clegg Caffery

Publisher: LSU Press

ISBN: 080715203X

Category: Music

Page: 384

View: 4019

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Alan Lomax's prolific sixty-four-year career as a folklorist and musicologist began with a trip across the South and into the heart of Louisiana's Cajun country during the height of the Great Depression. In 1934, his father John, then curator of the Library of Congress's Archive of American Folk Song, took an eighteen-year-old Alan and a 300-pound aluminum disk recorder into the rice fields of Jennings, along the waterways of New Iberia, and behind the gates of Angola State Penitentiary to collect vestiges of African American and Acadian musical tradition. These recordings now serve as the foundational document of indigenous Louisiana music. Although widely recognized by scholars as a key artifact in the understanding of American vernacular music, most of the recordings by John and Alan Lomax during their expedition across the central-southern fringe of Louisiana were never transcribed or translated, much less studied in depth. This volume presents, for the first time, a comprehensive examination of the 1934 corpus and unveils a multifaceted story of traditional song in one of the country's most culturally dynamic regions. Through his textual and comparative study of the songs contained in the Lomax collection, Joshua Clegg Caffery provides a musical history of Louisiana that extends beyond Cajun music and zydeco to the rural blues, Irish and English folk songs, play-party songs, slave spirituals, and traditional French folk songs that thrived at the time of these recordings. Intimate in its presentation of Louisiana folklife and broad in its historical scope, Traditional Music in Coastal Louisiana honors the legacy of John and Alan Lomax by retrieving these musical relics from obscurity and ensuring their understanding and appreciation for generations to come. Includes: Complete transcriptions of the 1934 Lomax field recordings in southwestern Louisiana Side-by-side translations from French to English Photographs from the 1934 field trip and biographical details about the performers

The Epic of America

Author: James Truslow Adams

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351304119

Category: History

Page: 453

View: 6312

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There is a tradition of one-volume narrative histories of the United States in which the political, military, diplomatic, social, and economic strands are skillfully interwoven. Rather than add to these volumes, The Epic of America paints a sweeping picture of the diverse past that has created America's national story. In this important narrative, James Truslow Adams reviews how the ordinary American has matured over time in outlook, character, and opinion. Adams grew increasingly conscious of how different an American is now from the man or woman of any other advanced nation. He is equally interested in the whole of American history, how it began, and what it represented in the first half of the twentieth century. Adams traces the historical origins of the American concept of "bigger and better," attitudes toward business, the American Dream, and other characteristics generally considered "typically American." Ever since America became an independent nation, each generation has seen an uprising of its citizens to save the American Dream from forces seeking to overwhelm and dispel it. Possibly the greatest of these struggles is still ahead?not a struggle of revolutionists against established order, but of the ordinary person who seeks to hold fast to the rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This classic book is valuable for a new age and as important for this new century as it was when originally written.

Ralph Peer and the Making of Popular Roots Music (Enhanced Edition)

Author: Barry Mazor

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

ISBN: 1613733887

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 2894

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This is the first biography of Ralph Peer, the adventurous—even revolutionary—A&R man and music publisher who saw the universal power locked in regional roots music and tapped it, changing the breadth and flavor of popular music around the world. It is the story of the life and fifty-year career, from the age of cylinder recordings to the stereo era, of the man who pioneered the recording, marketing, and publishing of blues, jazz, country, gospel, and Latin music. The book tracks Peer’s role in such breakthrough events as the recording of Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues” (the record that sparked the blues craze), the first country recording sessions with Fiddlin’ John Carson, his discovery of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family at the famed Bristol sessions, the popularizing of Latin American music during World War II, and the postwar transformation of music on the airwaves that set the stage for the dominance of R&B, country, and rock ‘n’ roll. But this is also the story of a man from humble midwestern beginnings who went on to build the world’s largest independent music publishing firm, fostering the global reach of music that had previously been specialized, localized, and marginalized. Ralph Peer redefined the ways promising songs and performers were identified, encouraged, and promoted, rethought how far regional music might travel, and changed our very notions of what pop music can be. This enhanced e-book includes 49 of the greatest songs Ralph Peer was involved with, from groundbreaking numbers that changed the history of recorded music to revelatory obscurities, all linked to the text so that the reader can hear the music while reading about it.

The Art of the Blues

The Design and Style of Black Music's Golden Age

Author: Bill Dahl

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780226396699

Category: Art

Page: 224

View: 1971

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As the one form of music that has been a constant element in the popular music of the 20th and now 21st century, the visual art associated with the blues has been as varied and dynamic as the music itself. Ranging from the artwork for printed music, album covers, and concert posters, to press advertising and promotional material, The Art of the Blues is a unique illustrated celebration of the blues in popular culture. Arranged chronologically, the book shows how the music was reflected in the visual language of the time, ranging from the art deco graphics of the interwar years, to 1960s psychedelia and beyond. The Art of the Blues promises to be a gorgeous illustrated coffee table book, perfect for gift-giving and close perusalsweet eye candy for lovers of the blues. "

America's Bank

The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve

Author: Roger Lowenstein

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143109847

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 5142

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Chronicles the tumultuous era and remarkable personalities that created the Federal Reserve, tracing the financial panic and widespread distrust of bankers that prompted the landmark 1913 Federal Reserve Act and launched America's first steps onto the world financial stage.

Blood Moon

An American Epic of War and Splendor in the Cherokee Nation

Author: John Sedgwick

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501128728

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 9481

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“Riveting...Engrossing...Mr. Sedgwick’s subtitle calls the Cherokee story an ‘American Epic,’ and indeed it is.” —H. W. Brands, The Wall Street Journal An astonishing untold story from America’s past—a sweeping, powerful, and necessary work of history that reads like Gone with the Wind for the Cherokee. Blood Moon is the story of the century-long blood feud between two rival Cherokee chiefs from the early years of the United States through the infamous Trail of Tears and into the Civil War. The two men’s mutual hatred, while little remembered today, shaped the tragic history of the tribe far more than anyone, even the reviled President Andrew Jackson, ever did. Their enmity would lead to war, forced removal from their homeland, and the devastation of a once-proud nation. It begins in the years after America wins its independence, when the Cherokee rule expansive lands of the Southeast that encompass eight present-day states. With its own government, language, newspapers, and religious traditions, it is one of the most culturally and socially advanced Native American tribes in history. But over time this harmony is disrupted by white settlers who grow more invasive in both number and attitude. In the midst of this rising conflict, two rival Cherokee chiefs, different in every conceivable way, emerge to fight for control of their people’s destiny. One of the men, known as The Ridge—short for He Who Walks on Mountaintops—is a fearsome warrior who speaks no English but whose exploits on the battlefield are legendary. The other, John Ross, is descended from Scottish traders and looks like one: a pale, unimposing half-pint who wears modern clothes and speaks not a word of Cherokee. At first, the two men are friends and allies. To protect their sacred landholdings from white encroachment, they negotiate with almost every American president from George Washington through Abraham Lincoln. But as the threat to their land and their people grows more dire, they break with each other on the subject of removal, breeding a hatred that will lead to a bloody civil war within the Cherokee Nation, the tragedy and heartbreak of the Trail of Tears, and finally, the two factions battling each other on opposite sides of the US Civil War. Through the eyes of these two primary characters, John Sedgwick restores the Cherokee to their rightful place in American history in a dramatic saga of land, pride, honor, and loss that informs much of the country’s mythic past today. It is a story populated with heroes and scoundrels of all varieties—missionaries, gold prospectors, linguists, journalists, land thieves, schoolteachers, politicians, and more. And at the center of it all are two proud men, Ross and Ridge, locked in a life-or-death struggle for the survival of their people. This propulsive narrative, fueled by meticulous research in contemporary diaries and journals, newspaper reports, and eyewitness accounts—and Sedgwick’s own extensive travels within Cherokee lands from the Southeast to Oklahoma—brings two towering figures back to life with reverence, texture, and humanity. The result is a richly evocative portrait of the Cherokee that is destined to become the defining book on this extraordinary people.

In Search of the Blues

Author: Marybeth Hamilton

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0786722142

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 9947

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In this extraordinary reconstruction of the origins of the blues, historian Marybeth Hamilton demonstrates that the story as we know it is largely a myth. Following the trail of characters like Howard Odum, who combed Mississippi's back roads with a cylinder phonograph to record vagrants, John and Alan Lomax, who prowled Southern penitentiaries and unearthed the rough, melancholy vocals of Leadbelly, and James McKune, a recluse whose record collection came to define the primal sounds of the Delta blues, Hamilton reveals this musical form to be the culmination of a longstanding white fascination with the exotic mysteries of black music. By excavating the history of the Delta blues, Hamilton reveals the extent to which American culture has been shaped by white fantasies of racial difference.

Mississippi John Hurt

His Life, His Times, His Blues

Author: Philip R. Ratcliffe

Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 9781617030093

Category: Music

Page: 272

View: 9188

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When Mississippi John Hurt (1892-1966) was "rediscovered" by blues revivalists in 1963, his musicianship and recordings transformed popular notions of prewar country blues. At seventy-one he moved to Washington, D.C., from Avalon, Mississippi, and became a live-wire connection to a powerful, authentic past. His intricate and lively style made him the most sought after musician among the many talents the revival brought to light. Mississippi John Hurt provides this legendary creator's life story for the first time. Biographer Philip Ratcliffe traces Hurt's roots to the moment his mother Mary Jane McCain and his father Isom Hurt were freed from slavery. Anecdotes from Hurt's childhood and teenage years include the destiny-making moment when his mother purchased his first guitar for $1.50 when he was only nine years old. Stories from his neighbors and friends, from both of his wives, and from his extended family round out the community picture of Avalon. U.S. census records, Hurt's first marriage record in 1916, images of his first autographed LP record, and excerpts from personal letters written in his own hand provide treasures for fans. Ratcliffe details Hurt's musical influences and the origins of his style and repertoire. The author also relates numerous stories from the time of his success, drawing on published sources and many hours of interviews with people who knew Hurt well, including the late Jerry Ricks, Pat Sky, Stefan Grossman and Max Ochs, Dick Spottswood, and the late Mike Stewart. In addition, some of the last photographs taken of the legendary musician are featured for the first time in Mississippi John Hurt.

Project Everlasting

Two Bachelors Discover the Secrets of America's Greatest Marriages

Author: Mathew Boggs,Jason Miller

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 141655954X

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 256

View: 1948

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Jaded by his parents' divorce and the countless marriages unraveling around him, Mathew Boggs was a young man who'd lost all belief in lifelong love. Roped into chauffeuring his grandma and dying grandfather on weekly adventures, he realized that, sixty-three years later, they were still madly in love."Now, that's the marriage I want!" he said to himself. Fired up to find more success stories, Mat talked his best friend, Jason Miller, a clueless commitmentphobe, into joining him on a cross-country search for America's greatest marriages, which they called "Project Everlasting." The two bumbling bachelors jumped in an RV and embarked on a 12,000-mile adventure, encompassing the beaches of Los Angeles, the skyscrapers of Manhattan, the bayous of Louisiana, and the mountains of Montana, to discover what it takes to make love last -- not from Ph.D.s or therapists but from more than 200 real couples who had walked the walk to more than forty years of marriage. In Project Everlasting, they share their wisdom. Each chapter is dedicated to one of the pressing quest ions the bachelors asked the couples, such as: "How do you know you've found The One?" "What's missing from today's marriages?" "How do you keep the romance alive?" "What's the most important ingredient for a solid marriage?" The couples opened their hearts and homes to Mat and Jason to reveal intimate and authentic portraits of fulfilling marriage. Couples like the Byrds, in New Orleans, who lost nearly everything they owned in the devastation of Katrina -- except their love and commitment to each other. Or ninety-somethings Ruth and Eddie Elcott in Los Angeles, who spent the first two years of their marriage separated by World War II and the later years of their marriage reading their wartime love letters to each other at bedtime. Along the way, Mat and Jason began to understand why their own relationships hadn't worked out quite as planned. They also realized that what they were learning from their wise new friends could change everything for them and -- through Project Everlasting -- show their generation and generations to come how to build a marriage to last.

America Is Not the Heart

A Novel

Author: Elaine Castillo

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735222436

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 8011

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"A saga rich with origin myths, national and personal . . . Castillo is part of a younger generation of American writers instilling literature with a layered sense of identity." --Vogue How many lives fit in a lifetime? When Hero De Vera arrives in America--haunted by the political upheaval in the Philippines and disowned by her parents--she's already on her third. Her uncle gives her a fresh start in the Bay Area, and he doesn't ask about her past. His younger wife knows enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. But their daughter--the first American-born daughter in the family--can't resist asking Hero about her damaged hands. An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. With exuberance, grit, and sly tenderness, here is a family saga; an origin story; a romance; a narrative of two nations and the people who leave one home to grasp at another.

American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land

Author: Monica Hesse

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 1631490524

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 6604

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Recommended Summer reading by TIME, Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple, and Elle. A breathtaking feat of reportage, American Fire combines procedural with love story, redefining American tragedy for our time. The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn’t stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. Vigilante groups sprang up, patrolling the rural Virginia coast with cameras and camouflage. Volunteer firefighters slept at their stations. The arsonist seemed to target abandoned buildings, but local police were stretched too thin to surveil them all. Accomack was desolate—there were hundreds of abandoned buildings. And by the dozen they were burning. The culprit, and the path that led to these crimes, is a story of twenty-first century America. Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse first drove down to the reeling county to cover a hearing for Charlie Smith, a struggling mechanic who upon his capture had promptly pleaded guilty to sixty-seven counts of arson. But as Charlie’s confession unspooled, it got deeper and weirder. He wasn’t lighting fires alone; his crimes were galvanized by a surprising love story. Over a year of investigating, Hesse uncovered the motives of Charlie and his accomplice, girlfriend Tonya Bundick, a woman of steel-like strength and an inscrutable past. Theirs was a love built on impossibly tight budgets and simple pleasures. They were each other’s inspiration and escape…until they weren’t. Though it’s hard to believe today, one hundred years ago Accomack was the richest rural county in the nation. Slowly it’s been drained of its industry—agriculture—as well as its wealth and population. In an already remote region, limited employment options offer little in the way of opportunity. A mesmerizing and crucial panorama with nationwide implications, American Fire asks what happens when a community gets left behind. Hesse brings to life the Eastern Shore and its inhabitants, battling a punishing economy and increasingly terrified by a string of fires they could not explain. The result evokes the soul of rural America—a land half gutted before the fires even began.

Why Read the Classics?

Author: Italo Calvino

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544146379

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 288

View: 9538

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A posthumously published collection of thirty-six essays offering Italo Calvino's invigorating and illuminating analysis of his most treasured literary classics.