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The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray

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The challenging and brilliantly-argued new book from the bestselling author of The Strange Death of Europe.

In his devastating new book The Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray examines the twenty-first century’s most divisive issues: sexuality, gender, technology and race. He reveals the astonishing new culture wars playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and intersectionality.

We are living through a postmodern era in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed. In their place have emerged a crusading desire to right perceived wrongs and a weaponization of identity, both accelerated by the new forms of social and news media. Narrow sets of interests now dominate the agenda as society becomes more and more tribal–and, as Murray shows, the casualties are mounting.

Readers of all political persuasions cannot afford to ignore Murray’s masterfully argued and fiercely provocative book, in which he seeks to inject some sense into the discussion around this generation’s most complicated issues. He ends with an impassioned call for free speech, shared common values and sanity in an age of mass hysteria.

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Culture

Dad Made Dirty Movies: The Erotic World of Stephen C. Apostolof by Jordan Todorov

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Strippers, zombies, fugitives and jewel thieves. These were just some of the characters who inhabited the weird, wild films of director Stephen C. Apostolof in the 1960s and 1970s. But Apostolof’s own life was every bit as improbable as the plots of his lurid movies. Escaping the clutches of the communists in his native Bulgaria, he came to America in 1952 and decided on a whim to reinvent himself as a Hollywood filmmaker, right down to the cigars, sunglasses and Cadillacs. He produced a string of memorable sexploitation classics, including the infamous Orgy of the Dead. Along the way, he married three times, fathered five children and forged a personal and professional relationship with the notorious Ed Wood, Jr. Drawing on rare archival material and interviews with those who knew him best, this first biography of Apostolof chronicles the life and career of a cult film legend.

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Culture

Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema by Jasper Sharp

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Behind the Pink Curtain takes the reader on a wild joy ride deep into the hinterlands of Japanese culture, society and radical politics by way of the weird but wonderful world of the Pink Film and Roman Porno genres.

Behind the Pink Curtain focuses on the art and industry of one of the most notorious sectors of Japanese filmmaking, the erotic Pink Film, or pinku eiga genre, and the closely related Roman Porno films produced by Nikkatsu studios from 1971 to 1988. A phenomenon distinct from the cheaply-produced hardcore Adult Video (AV) market, from the early 60s onwards major Japanese film studios and independent producers alike have kept up a conveyor belt level of output of pornographic features intended purely for cinema release. Still today, just short of 100 such titles are shot on 35mm every year intended for screening in a specialist network of adult cinema across the nation. In recent years, many have found themselves released on DVD in the West or screened at international film festivals, while many of Japan’s most noted filmmakers today have cut their teeth in this industry.

Just how close are the links between the arthouse and the grindhouse in Japan? Read about the ins and outs of Japanese censorship from the wartime onwards, and how topless deep sea diving girls came to woo local audiences in the 50s. Learn how a TV nature documentary maker ended up helming nude female Tarzan movies, and how 60s mavericks Koji Wakamatsu and Masao Adachi met up with John and Yoko at Cannes while on the way to the Golan Heights to make a film about Palestinian revolutionaries. How Deep Throat’s Harry Reems wound up in Tokyo starring in a zany sex comedy about a penis transplant gone awry, and how one of Japan’s most famous literary figures ended up the subject of the country’s first gay porno movie. How one of Nikkatsu’s leading directors went it alone to make a film about powerboat racing and ended up in the bad books of the Yakuza, and how the anti-Bush sex farce Horny Home Tutor: Teacher’s Love Juice came to be re-titled as The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai and became one of the most talked about Japanese films of recent years, playing at over twenty international film festivals.

Based on extensive interviews with many of the leading figures in the field, Behind the Pink Curtain is a colorful and exhaustive trawl through Japan’s most vibrant and prolific filmmaking sector.

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Lifestyle

Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil by Alexander Edmonds

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Pretty Modern is a riveting account of Brazil’s emergence as a global leader in plastic surgery. Intrigued by a Carnaval parade that mysteriously paid homage to a Rio de Janeiro plastic surgeon, anthropologist Alexander Edmonds conducted research that took him from Ipanema socialite circles to glitzy telenovela studios to the packed waiting rooms of public hospitals offering free cosmetic surgery. The result is provocative exploration of the erotic, commercial, and intimate aspects of beauty in a nation with extremes of wealth and poverty and a reputation for natural sensuality. Drawing on conversations with maids and their elite mistresses, divorced housewives, black celebrities, and favela residents aspiring to be fashion models, Edmonds analyzes what sexual desirability means and does for women in different social positions. He argues that beauty is a distinct realm of modern experience that does not simply reflect other inequalities. It mimics the ambiguous emancipatory potential of capital, challenging traditional hierarchies while luring consumers into a sexual culture that reduces the body to the brute biological criteria of attractiveness. Illustrated with color photographs, Pretty Modern offers a fresh theoretical perspective on the significance of female beauty in consumer capitalism.

Affiliate Link – Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex, and Plastic Surgery in Brazil by Alexander Edmonds

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