Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians by Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons

When I first saw that one of two books I had to read this week was 360 pages long, I was not amused. However, this book is incredibly readable and, frankly, fascinating. If this topic interests you, you should definitely give it a read (or if you are friends with me, borrow my copy). It reads like popular history, which means it is full of anecdotal stories and is meant for a general audience. It was a nice break from reading some of the truly stodgy ones I have been going through as of late. Don't get me wrong, I love reading history (hence the current path I am on), but some authors are completely oblivious at how to make their books enjoyable. Thankfully, these two writers do not fit into that category.

A note about the picture:
It is interesting to me that people choose to discriminate against others because they are "weird" or different. Everyone's weird. And everyone has something about them that can be targeted by someone else. Stop the name calling; all it causes is hurt.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars by Kristin L. Hoganson

It's a book about how gender was an important aspect of the US's decision to get involved in Cuba and the Philippines. Everyone wanted to be manly and promote the virility and fraternity that war supposedly fosters. It had fun cartoons of Uncle Sam as an old woman.

In my mind football has always been equated with guys. I don't think there were any gender politics at work at this game though, just lots of friends having fun.

Latin American Popular Culture: An Introduction Edited by: William H. Beezley and Linda A. Curcio-Nagy

YES! A book about popular culture! It was a collection of essays about topics ranging from Mexican cookbooks and the creation of national identity to the roots of Brazilian samba. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The picture is of graffiti in Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil. I'm now falling back on pictures that I have taken over the past couple of years since I am currently without the time or creative powers to take new ones.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Everyday Life and Politics in Nineteenth Century Mexico: Men, Women, and War by Mark Wasserman

This book read like a meta-analysis of research on nineteenth century Mexico, which meant it lacked clear citations. Wasserman says his themes include the struggle of common people to control their everyday lives, the dominant factor of external war in economic and political developments, and the transformation of gender relations. He barely touched on the last topic, which makes me wonder why authors sometimes stress in their introductions that they are going to talk about something when they only mention it in passing. Seems like a strange strategy.