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Motorcycle
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 242

Motorcycle

Easy Rider. Motocross Grand Prix. James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. The motorcycle is a global icon of untamed freedom, symbolizing a daring and reckless lifestyle of adventure. Yet there are few books that chronicle how and when this legendary vehicle roared down the open road. Motorcycle explores the roots of the rebel’s ultimate ride. After early incarnations as a nineteenth-century steam-powered bicycle and multi-wheeled vehicles, the modern motorcycle came into its own as a cheap, mobile military asset during World War I. From there, it rapidly spread through modern culture as a symbol of rebellion and subversive power, and Motorcycle tracks the symbolic role that the bike has play...

Cow
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 208

Cow

Hannah Velten plumbs the rich trove of myth, fact, and legend surrounding the seemingly-benign cow.

Bee
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 206

Bee

The bee is not a domestic animal, yet our relationship with this creature is one of the longest-standing between humanity and any other species. Since the earliest times the unique manufacturing and architectural abilities of the bee and its remarkable social organization have been regarded as miraculous. Because of this ancient relationship, bees always carry profound cultural meanings which can tell us much about who we are. Bees are also the subject of an enormous body of legend throughout the temperate world; no less extraordinary is the natural history of the bee, and the ways in which its biological and social organization have been adapted and encouraged by mankind in search of honey....

Chris Marker
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 256

Chris Marker

  • Categories: Art

Chris Marker is one of the most extraordinary and influential film-makers of our time. In landmark films such as Letter from Siberia(1958), La Jetée(1962), Sans Soleil(1982) and Level Five(1996), he overturned the conventions of the cinema, confounding normal distinctions between documentary and fiction, private and public concerns, writing and visual recording, and the still and moving image. Yet these works are only the better-known elements of a protean career that to date has spanned the second half of the twentieth century and encompassed writing, photography, film-making, video, television and the expanding field of digital multimedia. Catherine Lupton traces the development and trans...

Walter Benjamin
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 192

Walter Benjamin

Drawing upon a wealth of journal writings and personal correspondence, Esther Leslie presents a uniquely intimate portrait of one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century, Walter Benjamin. She sets his life in the context of his middle-class upbringing; explores the social, political, and economic upheaval in Germany during and after World War I; and recounts Benjamin’s eccentric love of toys, trick-books, travel, and ships. From the Frankfurt School and his influential friendships with Theodore Adorno, Gershom Scholem, and Bertolt Brecht, to his travels across Europe, Walter Benjamin traces out the roots of Benjamin’s groundbreaking writings and their far-reaching impact in his own time. Leslie argues that Benjamin’s life challenges the stereotypical narrative of the tragic and lonely intellectual figure—instead positioning him as a man who relished the fierce combat of competing theories and ideas. Closing with his death at the Spanish-French border in a desperate flight from the Nazis and Stalin, Walter Benjamin is a concise and concentrated account of a capacious intellect trapped by hostile circumstances.

Animals in Film
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 232

Animals in Film

From Salvador Dalí to Walt Disney, animals have been a constant yet little-considered presence in film. Indeed, it may come as a surprise to learn that animals were a central inspiration to the development of moving pictures themselves. In Animals in Film, Jonathan Burt points out that the mobility of animals presented technical and conceptual challenges to early film-makers, the solutions of which were an important factor in advancing photographic technology, accelerating the speed of both film and camera. The early filming of animals also marked one of the most significant and far-reaching changes in the history of animal representation, and has largely determined the way animals have bee...

Trading Territories
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 208

Trading Territories

Trading Territories is a beautifully illustrated book that offers a new account of the status of maps and geographical knowledge in the early modern world. Focusing on how early European geographers mapped the territories of the Old World—Africa and Southeast Asia—Jerry Brotton contends that the historical preoccupation with Columbus's “discovery” of the New World in 1492 has tended to obscure the importance of the mapping of territories that have been defined as “eastern.” Brotton situates the rise of early modern mapping within the context of the seaborne commercial adventures of the early maritime empires—the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Ottomans, the Dutch, and the English...

Cat
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 207

Cat

  • Categories: Art

Cattraces the relationship between humans and the cat from its original domestication in ancient Egypt c. 2000 BC, where it enjoyed high status, through its centuries as a mere utilitarian rodent catcher, its gradual acceptance as a charming and amiable pet, and its present status as a companion on a par with the dog. Cats spread from Egypt, reaching Britain by the fourth century BC and Japan by about the seventh. They were immediately appreciated in Japan, but in the West they were regarded as harmless and necessary at best, and, at worst, as convenient targets for abuse. Finally, in late-seventeenth-century France, an aristocratic coterie began to make much of their pet cats. In the eighte...

Aircraft
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 240

Aircraft

In Aircraft, David Pascoe offers a startling new account of the form of the airplane, an object that, in the course of a hundred years, has developed from a flimsy contraption of wood, wire and canvas into a machine compounded of exotic materials whose wings can touch the edges of space.

Cairo
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 232

Cairo

Maria Golia focuses on the present moment of Cairo, one of the world's most illustrious and irreducible cities.