Roger Ebert has been writing film reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times for nearly forty years. And during those four decades, his wide knowledge, keen judgment, prodigious energy, and sharp sense of humor have made him America’s most celebrated film critic. He was the first such critic to win a Pulitzer Prize—one of just three film critics ever to receive that honor—and the only one to have a star dedicated to him on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His groundbreaking hit TV show, At the Movies, meanwhile, has made “two thumbs up” one of the most coveted hallmarks in the entire industry.
No critic alive has reviewed more movies than Roger Ebert, and yet his essential writings have never been collected in a single volume—until now. With Awake in the Dark, both fans and film buffs can finally bask in the best of Ebert’s work. The reviews, interviews, and essays collected here present a picture of this indispensable critic’s numerous contributions to the cinema and cinephilia. From The Godfather to GoodFellas, from Cries and Whispers to Crash, the reviews in Awake in the Dark span some of the most exceptional periods in film history, from the dramatic rise of rebel Hollywood and the heyday of the auteur, to the triumph of blockbuster films such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, to the indie revolution that is still with us today.
The extraordinary interviews gathered in Awake in the Dark capture Ebert engaging not only some of the most influential directors of our time—Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Werner Herzog, and Ingmar Bergman—but also some of the silver screen’s most respected and dynamic personalities, including actors as diverse as Robert Mitchum, James Stewart, Warren Beatty, and Meryl Streep. Ebert’s remarkable essays play a significant part in Awake in the Dark as well. The book contains some of Ebert’s most admired pieces, among them a moving appreciation of John Cassavetes and a loving tribute to the virtues of black-and-white films.
If Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris were godmother and godfather to the movie generation, then Ebert is its voice from within—a writer whose exceptional intelligence and daily bursts of insight and enthusiasm have shaped the way we think about the movies. Awake in the Dark, therefore, will be a treasure trove not just for fans of this seminal critic, but for anyone desiring a fascinating and compulsively readable chronicle of film since the late 1960s.
Gary Cartwright is one of Texas’s legendary writers. In a career spanning nearly six decades, he has been a newspaper reporter, Senior Editor of Texas Monthly, and author of several acclaimed books, including Blood Will Tell, Confessions of a Washed-up Sportswriter, and Dirty Dealing. Cartwright was a finalist for a National Magazine Award for reporting excellence, and he has won several awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, including its most prestigious—the Lon Tinkle Award for lifetime achievement. His personal life has been as colorful and occasionally outrageous as any story he reported, and in this vivid, often hilarious, and sometimes deeply moving memoir, Cartwright tells the story of his writing career, tangled like a runaway vine with great friendships, love affairs, four marriages, four or five great dogs . . . looking always to explain, at least to himself, how the pattern probably makes a kind of perverted sense.
Cartwright’s career began at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Fort Worth Press, among kindred spirits and fellow pranksters Edwin “Bud” Shrake and Dan Jenkins. He describes how the three rookie writers followed their mentor Blackie Sherrod to the Dallas Times Herald and the Dallas Morning News, becoming the “best staff of sportswriters anywhere, ever” and creating a new kind of sportswriting that “swept the country and became standard.” Cartwright recalls his twenty-five years at Texas Monthly, where he covered everything from true crime to notable Texans to Texas’s cultural oddities. Along the way, he tells lively stories about “rebelling against sobriety” in many forms, with friends and co-conspirators that included Willie Nelson, Ann Richards, Dennis Hopper, Willie Morris, Don Meredith, Jack Ruby, and countless others. A remarkable portrait of the writing life and Austin’s counterculture, The Best I Recall may skirt the line between fact and fiction, but it always tells the truth.
Optimists believe this is the best of all possible worlds. And pessimists fear that might really be the case. But what is the best of all possible worlds? How do we define it? Is it the world that operates the most efficiently? Or the one in which most people are comfortable and content? Questions such as these have preoccupied philosophers and theologians for ages, but there was a time, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when scientists and mathematicians felt they could provide the answer.
This book is their story. Ivar Ekeland here takes the reader on a journey through scientific attempts to envision the best of all possible worlds. He begins with the French physicist Maupertuis, whose least action principle asserted that everything in nature occurs in the way that requires the least possible action. This idea, Ekeland shows, was a pivotal breakthrough in mathematics, because it was the first expression of the concept of optimization, or the creation of systems that are the most efficient or functional. Although the least action principle was later elaborated on and overshadowed by the theories of Leonhard Euler and Gottfried Leibniz, the concept of optimization that emerged from it is an important one that touches virtually every scientific discipline today.
Tracing the profound impact of optimization and the unexpected ways in which it has influenced the study of mathematics, biology, economics, and even politics, Ekeland reveals throughout how the idea of optimization has driven some of our greatest intellectual breakthroughs. The result is a dazzling display of erudition—one that will be essential reading for popular-science buffs and historians of science alike.
From the Preface:
“I wrote these stories between 1992 and 2018. They cover a dozen different sports for a dozen different media outlets, from the Ann Arbor News to National Public Radio, and they stretch from a couple pages to a dozen. But they have one thing in common: they all meant a lot to me when I wrote them, and they still do today.”
The Best of Bacon presents both new and familiar stories by best-selling author John U. Bacon, all centered on sports in his home state of Michigan. Best known for his acclaimed books on college football, Bacon’s writing has been praised for going beyond traditional Xs and Os sports reporting. True to that reputation, this collection showcases personal, behind-the-scenes stories of players, coaches, and even fans. Many of these stories are connected to specific moments in time—a great season, the passing of a legendary broadcaster, or a star player’s daily grind before a big game—and will immediately transport readers to some of the highs (and lows) of their own sports memories. More often, Bacon’s writing explores timeless themes—why we love sports, how we pass that passion down to the next generation, and how it will be threatened or preserved in the future.
Michigan is one of the nation’s best sports states, home to countless amateur squads, two Big Ten schools, and professional teams in all four major sports whose histories reach back to the start of their leagues—something only New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois can also claim. This book covers the spectrum, from insider profiles of big names like Magic Johnson, Bo Schembechler, and Joe Louis, to cautionary tales of the debilitating greed threatening our favorite pastimes, to uplifting stories of the unsung heroes whose passion drives them to coach Little League baseball teams or run summer camps for peanuts. These stories speak to the value of sports, but also to our values. Whether a Spartan or a Wolverine, a long-suffering Lions’ backer or a diehard Wing-Nut, a lifetime sports fan or just someone who loves a good story, there is something here for everyone.
Since the magazine's founding in 1995, No Depression has reported on and helped define the music that goes by names such as alt.country, Americana, and roots music. Though dismissed by the commercial country music establishment as "music that doesn't sell," alternative country has attracted thousands of listeners who long for the authenticity and rich complexity that come from its potent blend of country and rock 'n' roll and any number of related musical genres and subgenres.
To celebrate No Depression's tenth anniversary and spotlight some of the most important artists and trends in alt.country music, editors Grant Alden and Peter Blackstock have compiled this anthology of twenty-five of the magazine's best and most representative feature articles. Their subjects range from venerated country artists such as Johnny Cash and Ray Price to contemporary songwriters such as Lucinda Williams and Buddy and Julie Miller to the post-punk country-influenced bands Wilco and the Drive-By Truckers. All of the articles included here illustrate No Depression's commitment to music writing that puts the artist front-and-center and covers his or her career in sufficient depth to be definitive. Alden and Blackstock have also written a preface to this volume in which they discuss the alt.country phenomenon and the history and editorial philosophy that have made No Depression the bible for everyone seeking genuine American roots music.
digitalculturebooks is an imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library dedicated to publishing innovative and accessible work exploring new media and their impact on society, culture, and scholarly communication. Visit the website at www.digitalculture.org.
The year’s best writing on tech: a collection as imaginative and compelling as its dynamic subject
“This book is not just an illuminating and instructive guide to our high-tech frontier. It’s also a great testimony to the power of that most ancient of technologies, the written word.”
—Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good for You
Together the essays in The Best of Technology Writing 2007 capture the versatility and verve of technology writing today. Solicited through an open online nominating process, these pieces explore a wide range of intriguing topics—from “crowdsourcing” to the online habits of urban moms to the digital future of movie production. The Best of Technology Writing 2007 will appeal to anyone who enjoys stellar writing.
Steven Levy is a Senior Editor at Newsweek, where he writes the biweekly column “The Technologist.” One of the most acclaimed and versatile technology writers in the country, Levy has written six books, including The Perfect Thing (about Apple’s iPod) and Hackers, which PC Magazine’s readers voted the best sci-tech book written in the last twenty years. He has written for many publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Wired.
Featuring contributions from
Jeffrey M. O’Brien
Adam L. Penenberg
Jeffrey R. Young
"No one covers technology with more insight or panache than Clive Thompson. I can't imagine anyone better qualified to curate this fascinating series."
---Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine and author of The Long Tail
"Editor Clive Thompson suggests we are in a ‘golden age of technology journalism.' Reading this collection, one suspects he is right---it sparkles with beautifully written narratives not only about what technology can do for us but what it does to us as people, to our ways of thinking about ourselves, our relationships, and how we envisage our world."
---Sherry Turkle, Director, MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Best of Technology Writing 2008 proves that technology writing is a bona fide literary genre with some of the most stylish, compelling, and just plain readable work in journalism today.
The third volume in this annual series, The Best of Technology Writing 2008 covers a fascinating mix of topics---from a molecular gastronomist's recipe for the perfect gin and tonic; to "the Mechanism," an ancient Greek artifact that might be the world's first laptop computer; to social media, privacy, and what is possibly the biggest generation gap since rock 'n' roll.
For two years, Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández shared the life of what he calls the “Weston School,” an elite New England boarding school. He sat in on classes, ate meals in the dining halls, cheered at sporting events, hung out in dorms while students baked cookies or celebrated birthdays. And through it all, observing the experiences of a diverse group of students, conducting interviews and focus groups, he developed a nuanced portrait of how these students make sense of their extraordinary good fortune in attending the school.Vividly describing the pastoral landscape and graceful buildings, the rich variety of classes and activities, and the official and unofficial rules that define the school, The Best of the Best reveals a small world of deeply ambitious, intensely pressured students. Some are on scholarship, others have never met a public school student, but all feel they have earned their place as a “Westonian” by being smart and working hard. Weston is a family, they declare, with a niche for everyone, but the hierarchy of coolness—the way in which class, race, sexism, and good looks can determine one’s place—is well known.For Gaztambide-Fernández, Weston is daunting yet strikingly bucolic, inspiring but frustratingly incurious, and sometimes—especially for young women—a gilded cage for a gilded age. “Would you send your daughter here?” one girl asks him, and seeing his hesitation asks, “Because you love her?”
We hear about a woman with an artificial arm controlled by her mind, read stories about the creative potential of “right-brain” and “left-brain” people, and watch science fiction films featuring characters with implanted mind chips. Yet few of us understand the science behind these and other visionary advances being made today in brain research. Leading neuroscientists and scholars have charted the stream of new findings in Scientific American and Scientific American Mind, and their articles from the past eight years, compiled here in a comprehensive volume, offer diverse and provocative perspectives on various cutting-edge brain science projects.
Scientific American, the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States, has long been the standard bearer of science journalism, and the brain science articles published in its pages offer unparalleled insights into the world of neuroscience. The expert articles assembled here, divided into three sections, reveal the latest developments of brain research in a compelling and wholly readable fashion and explore the range of fields and topics now included under the umbrella of neuroscience.
Consciousness and creativity are the focus of the “Mind” section, which features such compelling essays as science writer Carl Zimmer’s examination of how the brain creates a sense of self. Steven E. Hyman, Harvard Provost and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, proposes new ways of diagnosing psychiatric disorders in “Matter,” a section that also features articles on psychological disorders, addictions, and other topics related to the interaction between body and brain. And “Tomorrow’s Brain” reveals the intriguing future potential of man-machine interactions, as well as pioneering new methods of brain treatment. Eminent neuroscientist Floyd E. Bloom also contributes an engaging introduction that situates these pieces on the front lines of brain research.
In today’s technologically driven world, our lives are changing faster than ever, and neuroscience is becoming an integral part of that transformation. Best of the Brain from Scientific American gathers the very best writings on this sea change, providing an invaluable guide to the exhilarating possibilities of neuroscience.
Best of the West: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri, an annual anthology of exceptional short fiction rooted in the western United States, debuted in 1988 and continued publication until 1992. Recognizing that the West remains rewarding territory for literary explorations, James Thomas and Seth Horton are now reviving the series in Best of the West 2009.
Thomas and Horton combed some 250 literary journals and magazines to gather these eighteen stories published since the fall of 2007. They come from both emerging and established writers, including Lee K. Abbott, Louise Erdrich, Dagoberto Gilb, Antonya Nelson, Joyce Carol Oates, and Annie Proulx. Like Bass, the editors believe "the Western short story" inhabits a wide territory; the subjects in this collection range from illegal immigrants tending illegal crops in California's national forests, to mismatched Mormon missionaries on the conversion trail in Nevada, to a Native American college student exploring her sexuality, to Papa Hemingway's meditations as he loads the shotgun in his Idaho cabin. As these stories make clear, the West continues to shape our literary landscape. Thomas and Horton have preserved the best of that work in this vital anthology.
Best of the West: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri, an annual anthology of exceptional short fiction rooted in the western United States, debuted in 1988 and continued publication until 1992. Recognizing that the West remains rewarding territory for literary explorations, James Thomas and D. Seth Horton revived the series in 2009.
Best of the West 2010 brings together established and emerging writers who reinterpret this most vital of literary regions and create, as Kent Meyers puts it in his foreword, "gift[s] the nation needs right now." Editors Horton and Thomas have chosen nineteen stories by writers including Sherman Alexie, Rick Bass, Ron Carlson, Julia Glass, William Kittredge, Kent Nelson, and Deb Olin Unferth. Their subjects vary from a Greek community in Wyoming dealing with a suicide, to a re-creation of Christ's crucifixion in New Mexico, to an unlikely friendship that peaks at a burial ground in Alaska. Best of the West 2010 is the latest indication that the West has become one of the most crucial settings for contemporary American fiction.
Best of the West 2011: New Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri is the latest volume in what has become one of the nation's most important anthologies. Editors Horton and Thomas have chosen twenty stories by writers including Rick Bass, T. C. Boyle, Ron Carlson, Philipp Meyer, Dagoberto Gilb, Yiyun Li, Antonya Nelson, and Sam Shepard. Subjects vary from an Idaho family that breeds lions and tigers with disastrous results, to a Mormon veteran whose mind is taken over by a nineteenth-century consciousness, to a Texas boy who spends an afternoon with Bonnie and Clyde shortly before their deaths. Taken together, these stories suggest that the West has become one of the most exciting and diverse literary regions in the twenty-first century.
This incomparable anthology collects articles, interviews, fiction, and poetry from the Original Chicago Blues Annual, one of music history's most significant periodical blues publications. Founded and operated from 1989 to 1995 by African American musician and entrepreneur Lincoln T. Beauchamp Jr., OCBA gave voice to the blues community and often frankly addressed contentious issues within the blues such as race, identity, prejudice, wealth, gender, and inequity.
OCBA often expressed an explicitly black perspective, but its contributors were a mix of black and white, American and international. Likewise, although OCBA's roots and main focus were in Chicago, Beauchamp's vision for the publication (and his own activities as a blues performer and promoter) embraced an international dimension, reflecting a broad diversity of blues audiences and activities in locations as farflung as Iceland, Poland, France, Italy, and South Africa.
This volume includes key selections from OCBA's seven issues and features candid interviews with blues luminaries such as Koko Taylor, Eddie Boyd, Famoudou Don Moye, Big Daddy Kinsey, Lester Bowie, Junior Wells, Billy Boy Arnold, Herb Kent, Barry Dolins, and many more. Also featured are heartfelt memorials to bygone blues artists, insightful observations on the state of the blues in Chicago and beyond, and dozens of photographs of performers, promoters, and other participants in the worldwide blues scene.
Presented in order of their first appearance, the articles in each volume constitute a revealing record of developing insights and important shifts of critical emphasis. Each article has opened a fresh line of inquiry, established a fresh perspective on a familiar topic, or settled a question that engaged the interest of experts.
When Sarah Bird arrived in Austin in 1973 in pursuit of a boyfriend who was “hotter than lava,” she found an abundance of inspiration for storytelling (her sweetheart left her for Scientology, but she got to taste a morsel of Lynda Bird Johnson’s poorly preserved wedding cake as a temp worker at the LBJ Library). Sarah Bird went on to write ten acclaimed novels and contribute hundreds of articles to publications coast to coast, developing a signature voice that combines laser-sharp insight with irreverent, wickedly funny prose in the tradition of Molly Ivins and Nora Ephron
Now collecting forty of Bird’s best nonfiction pieces, from publications that range from Texas Monthly to the New York Times and others, Recent Studies Indicate presents some of Bird’s earliest work, including a prescient 1976 profile of a transgender woman, along with recent calls to political action, such as her 2017 speech at a benefit for Annie’s List.
Whether Bird is hanging out with socialites and sanitation workers or paying homage to her army-nurse mom, her collection brings a poignant perspective to the experience of being a woman, a feminist, a mother, and a Texan—and a writer with countless, spectacular true tales to tell us.
Browse our collection.
See BiblioVault's publisher services.
Files for college accessibility offices.
UChicago Accessibility Resources
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press