Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Comedy and Cultural Studies

At first glance a comedian's biography doesn't look like the perfect fit for a Cultural Studies course, but Scott Saul's Becoming Richard Pryor is more than meets the eye. Pryor was one of the most fearless comedians. He confronted stereotypes, challenged Hollywood's treatment of black entertainers, and shared some of his darkest personal experiences with his fans. Becoming Richard Pryor offers students a unique look into one extraordinary man's experience with race in America during the height of counterculture and the Civil Rights movement.

Praise for Becoming Richard Pryor:

"A fascinating, exhilarating read. Saul dives deeper and comes up with more treasure than previous biographers; he deftly traces the stamp that Pryor left on American culture at one of its more impressionable moments...I didn't want to put the book down and couldn't wait to get back to it." —Michael Chabon, bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and Telegraph Avenue

"With Becoming Richard Pryor, Scott Saul gives us the fullest picture yet of a great and puzzling American figure. What starts as a procedural on the making of an artist becomes a story of a man desperate to be free." —RJ Smith, author of The One: The Life and Music of James Brown

See more about Becoming Richard Pryor here

Friday, December 12, 2014

Did Agriculture Domesticate Humans?

Dr. Yuval Noah Harari is making waves with his revolutionary approach to the history of humankind. In his upcoming book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Dr. Harari goes in depth to discuss some of his most provocative statements about humanity and its dominance. In this month's video Dr. Harari declares that agriculture domesticated humans and not the other way around.

See a brief teaser for Sapiens (on sale 2/10) below!