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Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian's chief culture writer, steps behind the polished doors of Broadcasting House and investigates the BBC. Based on her hugely popular essay series, this personal journey answers the questions that rage around this vulnerable, maddening and uniquely British institution. Questions such as, what does the BBC mean to us now? What are the threats to its continued existence? Is it worth fighting for? Higgins traces its origins, celebrating the early pioneering spirit and unearthing forgotten characters whose imprint can still be seen on the BBC today. She explores how it forged ideas of Britishness both at home and abroad. She shows how controversy is in its DNA and brings us right up to date through interviews with grandees and loyalists, embattled press officers and high profile dissenters, and she sheds new light on recent feuds and scandals. This is a deeply researched, lyrically written, intriguing portrait of an institution at the heart of Britain.
From the beginning of the American Occupation in 1945 to the post-bubble period of the early 1990s, popular music provided Japanese listeners with a much-needed release, channeling their desires, fears, and frustrations into a pleasurable and fluid art. Pop music allowed Japanese artists and audiences to assume various identities, reflecting the country's uncomfortable position under American hegemony and its uncertainty within ever-shifting geopolitical realities. In the first English-language study of this phenomenon, Michael K. Bourdaghs considers genres as diverse as boogie-woogie, rockabilly, enka, 1960s rock and roll, 1970s new music, folk, and techno-pop. Reading these forms and their cultural import through music, literary, and cultural theory, he introduces readers to the sensual moods and meanings of modern Japan. As he unpacks the complexities of popular music production and consumption, Bourdaghs interprets Japan as it worked through (or tried to forget) its imperial past. These efforts grew even murkier as Japanese pop migrated to the nation's former colonies. In postwar Japan, pop music both accelerated and protested the commodification of everyday life, challenged and reproduced gender hierarchies, and insisted on the uniqueness of a national culture, even as it participated in an increasingly integrated global marketplace. Each chapter in Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon examines a single genre through a particular theoretical lens: the relation of music to liberation; the influence of cultural mapping on musical appreciation; the role of translation in transmitting musical genres around the globe; the place of noise in music and its relation to historical change; the tenuous connection between ideologies of authenticity and imitation; the link between commercial success and artistic integrity; and the function of melodrama. Bourdaghs concludes with a look at recent Japanese pop music culture.
One of the greatest GAA footballers of the modern era, Paul Galvin has enjoyed a brilliant and at times controversial career. Winning four senior All Ireland medals with Kerry and eight Munster championships, he was also a three-time All Star and 2009 Footballer of the Year. His inter-county career took off in the late 1990s, when he picked up a Munster minor championship medal in 1997 and another at under-21 level in 1999. But it was in the senior team throughout the 2000s that Paul came into his own. In a period defined by great rivalry with Tyrone, he became a key playmaker for Kerry, never failing to give his all in pursuit of victory. Over the course of a career marked by courage, physicality and an intense passion for the Green and Gold, there were many glorious days. There were other days too, with controversial incidents that led to a number of suspensions, most notably in 2008, the year in which Paul also had the honour of being the Kerry captain. 2009 brought redemption. But 2010 presented new challenges. In this fiercely honest autobiography, Paul offers – in his own words – a compelling, unflinching account of a career that has fascinated football fans for over a decade.
The Kansas City suburb of Independence, Missouri, is associated primarily with its most famous son, President Harry Truman. Yet Independence is also home to a unique and complex religious landscape regarded as sacred space by hundreds of thousands of people associated with the Latter Day Saint family of churches. In 1831 Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint (LDS) movement, declared Independence the site of the New Jerusalem, where followers would build a sacred city, the center of Zion. Smith prophesied that Jesus Christ would return in millennial and glorious advent to Independence, an act that would make the city an American counterpart to old world Jerusalem. Smith's plan would have mixed the best qualities of nineteenth-century American pastoral and urban psyche. However, the great splintering among returning Latter Day Saint groups has led to divergent beliefs and multiple interpretations of millennial place. Images of the New Jerusalem culls viewpoints from publications and interviews and contrasts them with official church doctrines and mapped land holdings. For example, with a desire to attract mainstream American, the Western LDS Church, which holds the largest amount of land in northwestern Missouri, keeps fairly silent on the New Jerusalem, while the RLDS Church (now the Community of Christ) has dropped millennial claims gradually, adopting a liberal secular style of pseudo-Protestantism. Smaller groups, independent of these two, see sacred space in more spatially and doctrinally limited ways. The religious ecology among Latter Day Saint churches allows each group its place in the public spotlight, and a number of sociopolitical mechanisms reduce conflict among them. Nonetheless, Independence has developed many traits of the world's most seasoned and conflicted sacred places over a relatively short time. This book opens the field of scholarship on this region, where profound spatial and doctrinal variation continues. Craig S. Campbell is professor of geography at Youngstown State University. He has published articles in Journal of Cultural Geography, Cartographica, The Professional Geographer, Political Geography, and other journals.

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