Martin Short: Humble Comedy Legend

You might know him best as Ed Grimley, the grimacing, high-trousered pop-culture nerd of the rhinoceros-worthy quiff. Or maybe Jiminy Glick, the Hollywood "insider" who packs both obsequiousness and obliviousness into a single awkward, inapproptiate package. Over his long career,...

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Spooktacular Spooktacular! 13 Picks from the Master of Cult Cinema

Who's up for some scary movies? I am. So is Danny Peary. Peary established his bona fides as an expert in weird cinema with his Cult Movies series from the early 80s: three volumes packed with wisdom on off-beat movies...

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Four Great Novels That Can Be Called Post-Multicultural (Or Not)

Jeff Chang has spent the better part of his adult life analyzing and chronicling the role of race in America. The result is Who We Be, a compendium of essays, photos, lyrics, and other snippets that define, well, Who We...

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10 Songs: Greil Marcus and the Culture of Surprise

If rock & roll has achieved institution status, Greil Marcus certainly qualifies as one of its pillars. As one of the most influential critics of rock music--a small and vital, club, to be sure--he has made a long, distinctive career...

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The Rules of the Handshake

Lots of people dream about doing the kinds of things Eden Collinsworth does routinely in her life: change jobs, move countries, strike out for parts unknown both internal and external. In the form of an etiquette guide, I Stand Corrected...

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How I Wrote It: Walter Isaacson, on "The Innovators"

"We don’t often focus on how teamwork is key to innovation," says Walter Isaacson, whose new book explores the overlooked collaborations and breakthroughs that would eventually give us the personal computer and the Internet. In The Innovators: How a Group...

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Chasing Paper: The Debt Collection Underground

“Creditors have better memories than debtors.” --Benjamin Franklin Everyone knows about collections agencies, but how they actually operate is much more interesting than you probably think. Falling somewhere between Glengarry Glen Ross and Mean Streets, Jake Halpern's Bad Paper introduces...

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Video: Ken Burns on the Making of "The Roosevelts"

Ken Burns is known for telling epic stories about events and achievements in American history, from Prohibition to the Civil War to baseball. But rarely has he focused on personal history as he does in his latest documentary, The Roosevelts:...

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Hollywood, Behind the Camera

The following is excerpted from Hollywood Frame by Frame: The Unseen Silver Screen in Contact Sheets, 1951-1997. Introduction, by Author Karina Longworth In the pre-digital era, contact sheets offered a quick, visual summary of a photo shoot, and photographers, editors,...

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Weekend Reading: Dames, Games, and Ghosts

As we put the finishing touches on our October reading and our Best of the Books of the Month lists, our attention turns to November as we try to get a jump on reading for the next round. (This good...

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