Suggested Reading List
America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't
Author: Colbert, Stephen
Description: As perfect as America is in every single way, America is broken! And we can't exchange it because we're 236 years past the 30-day return window. Look around--we don't make anything anymore, we've mortgaged our future to China, and the Apologist-in-Chief goes on world tours just to bow before foreign leaders. Worse, the L.A. Four Seasons Hotel doesn't even have a dedicated phone button for the Spa. You have to dial an extension! Where did we lose our way?!
It's high time we restored America to the greatness it never lost!
Luckily, AMERICA AGAIN will single-bookedly pull this country back from the brink. It features everything from chapters, to page numbers, to fonts. Covering subjects ranging from healthcare ("I shudder to think where we'd be without the wide variety of prescription drugs to treat our maladies, such as think-shuddering") to the economy ("Life is giving us lemons, and we're shipping them to the Chinese to make our lemon-flavored leadonade") to food ("Feel free to deep fry this book-it's a rich source of fiber"), Stephen gives America the dose of truth it needs to get back on track.
New Rules: Polite Musings from a Timid Observer
Author: Maher, Bill
Description: Bill Maher is on the forefront of the new wave of comedians who have begun to influence and shape political debate through their comedy. He is best known not just for being funny, but for advocating truth over sensitivity and taking on the political establishment. Maher first came to national attention as the host of the hit TV program Politically Incorrect, where he offered a combustible mixture of irreverence and acerbic humor that helped him to garner a loyal following, as well as a reputation for being a controversial bad boy.
Bill Maher's popular new HBO television show, Real Time, has put Maher more front and center than ever before. Particularly one regular segment on the show, entitled "New Rules," has been a hit with his ever-growing legion of fans. It is the part of the show during which Maher takes serious aim, bringing all of his intelligence, incisiveness, wit, and his signature exasperation to bear on topics ranging from cell phones ("I don't need my cell phone to take pictures or access the Internet. I just need it to make a phone call. From everywhere! Not just the places it likes!") to fast food ("No McDonald's in hospitals. I'm not kidding!) to the conservative agenda ("Stop claiming it's an agenda. It's not an agenda. It's a random collection of laws that your corporate donors paid you to pass.")
His new book, the first since his bestselling When You Ride Alone You Ride with bin Laden, brings these brilliantly conceived riffs and rants to the written page. Appropriately titled New Rules, the book will collect some of the best of the rules derived from previously written material and will also contain substantial new material, including some longer form "editorials"—of course with a twist and bite that only Bill Maher can deliver.
Jon Stewart: Beyond The Moments Of Zen
Author: Stewart, Jon
Description: Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, has been called a “cultural force,” a “fourth branch of government,” and “the most influential man in America.” In this newly expanded, new edition of this pioneering biography, award-winning journalist Bruce Watson charts Stewart’s remarkable rise from a wise-cracking New Jersey comic to a powerful pundit hosting presidents and prime ministers, all with a smirk.
Coming up Roses: The Broadway Musical in the 1950s
Author: Mordden, Ethan
Description: The 1950s saw an explosion in the American musical theater. The Broadway show, catapulted into the limelight in the 20s and solidified during the 40s thanks to Rodgers and Hammerstein, now entered its most revolutionary phase, brashly redefining itself and forging a new kind of storytelling. In Coming Up Roses: The Broadway Musical in the 1950s, Ethan Mordden gives us a guided tour of this rich decade.
With loving detail, Mordden highlights the shift in Broadway from shows that were mere star vehicles, showcasing a big-name talent, to the bolder stories, stuffed with character and atmosphere. During this period, subject matter became more intricate, even controversial, and plots more human and complex; Mordden demonstrates how, in response, musical conventions were polished, writing became more finely crafted, and dance became truly indispensable. Along the way we meet the key players: such greats as Ethel Merman, George Abbott, Jerome Robbins, Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, Stephen Sondheim, Frank Loesser, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, and many others. We get the backstage scoop on why Guys and Dolls is so well-made, why West Side Story is so timeless, why The King and I and Gypsy pushed the envelope, and why no one ever talks about Ankles Aweigh. All this is peppered with a dash of industry gossip--the directorial struggles, last-minute script rewrites and cast replacements, the power of the poster listings--that made Broadway so nervewrackingly vibrant.
This passionate and informed study illuminates a crucial period in American musical theater and shows us the origins of many of the musicals recently revived to huge success on Broadway.
Lady in the Dark: Biography of a Musical
Author: McClung, Bruce D.
Description: When Lady in the Dark opened on January 23, 1941, its many firsts immediately distinguished it as a new and unusual work. The curious directive to playwright Moss Hart to complete a play about psychoanalysis came from his own Freudian psychiatrist. For the first time since his brother George's death, Ira Gershwin returned to writing lyrics for the theater. And for émigré composer Kurt Weill, it was a crack at an opulent first-class production. Together Hart, Gershwin, and Weill (with a little help from the psychiatrist) produced one of the most innovative works in Broadway history.
Though Lady in the Dark was a smash-hit, it has never enjoyed a Broadway revival, and a certain mystique has grown up around its legendary original production. In this ground-breaking biography, bruce mcclung pieces together the musical's life story from sketches and drafts, production scripts, correspondence, photographs, costume and set designs, and thousands of clippings from the star's personal scrapbooks. He has interviewed eleven members of the original company to provide a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the backstage story.
A Twist of Lemmon: A Tribute to My Father
Author: Lemmon, Chris
Description: First time in paperback, a very personal portrait of an actor audiences loved, written by his actor son. Jack Lemmon (1925-2001) was one of our most beloved movie stars, a two-time Academy Award winner for Mister Roberts and Save the Tiger. In A Twist of Lemmon, Chris Lemmon shares family tales, intimate father-son conversations, and anecdotes from and about his dad. Joining Chris are first-person tributes from Blake Edwards, Andy Garcia, Julie Andrews, Tony Curtis, Neil Simon, Shirley MacLaine, and Cliff Robertson, among others.
American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood
Author: Eliot, Marc
Description: As an actor, he seduces us with his tough-guy charm. As a director and producer, he amazes us with his artistry and technical savvy. As a Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood, one of film's greatest living legends, represents some of the finest cinematic achievements in the history of American cinema.
In American Rebel, bestselling author and acclaimed film historian Marc Eliot examines the ever-exciting, often-tumultuous arc of Clint Eastwood's life and career. Unlike past biographers, Eliot writes with unflinching candor about Eastwood's highs and lows, his artistic successes and failures, and the fascinating, complex relationship between his life and his craft. Eliot's prodigious research reveals how a college dropout and unambitious playboy rose to fame as Hollywood' s "sexy rebel," eventually and against all odds becoming a star in the Academy pantheon as a multiple Oscar winner. Spanning decades, American Rebel covers the best of Eastwood' s oeuvre, films that have fast become American classics–Fistful of Dollars, Dirty Harry, Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Gran Torino.
Filled with remarkable insights into Eastwood's personal life and public work, American Rebel is highly entertaining and the most complete biography of one of Hollywood's truly respected and beloved stars–an actor who, despite being the Man with No Name, has left his indelible mark on the world of motion pictures.
Clint Eastwood, A Life
Author: The Editors of New Word City
Description: Confident and masculine, solitary and moral, Clint Eastwood’s screen persona represents a strain of the American character that is simple, true, and timeless. But Eastwood - though his pictures have grossed billions - is far more than an iconic movie star. He has produced and directed some of the most important films of the last three decades, earning 10 Academy Award nominations and four wins, two each for Best Director and Best Picture. Here, his life and career take center stage.