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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: The New Mutants


The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics, by Ramzi Fawaz

The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics

"In 1964, noted literary critic Leslie Fiedler described American youth as "new mutants," social rebels severing their attachments to American culture to remake themselves in their own image. 1960s comic book creators, anticipating Fiedler, began to morph American superheroes from icons of nationalism and white masculinity into actual mutant outcasts, defined by their genetic difference from ordinary humanity. These powerful misfits and "freaks" soon came to embody the social and political aspirations of America’s most marginalized groups, including women, racial and sexual minorities, and the working classes.
In The New Mutants, Ramzi Fawaz draws upon queer theory to tell the story of these monstrous fantasy figures and how they grapple with radical politics from Civil Rights and The New Left to Women’s and Gay Liberation Movements. Through a series of comic book case studies – including The Justice League of America, The Fantastic Four, The X-Men, and The New Mutants –alongside late 20th century fan writing, cultural criticism, and political documents, Fawaz reveals how the American superhero modeled new forms of social belonging that counterculture youth would embrace in the 1960s and after. The New Mutants provides the first full-length study to consider the relationship between comic book fantasy and radical politics in the modern United States."

- From the publisher’s website: http://nyupress.org/

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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: From Jack Johnson to LeBron James


From Jack Johnson to LeBron James: Sports, Media, and the Color Line, Edited by Chris Lamb

From Jack Johnson to LeBron James: Sports, Media, and the Color Line

"The campaign for racial equality in sports has both reflected and affected the campaign for racial equality in the United States. Some of the most significant and publicized stories in this campaign in the twentieth century have happened in sports, including, of course, Jackie Robinson in baseball; Jesse Owens, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos in track; Arthur Ashe in tennis; and Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali in boxing. Long after the full integration of college and professional athletics, race continues to play a major role in sports. Not long ago, sportswriters and sportscasters ignored racial issues. They now contribute to the public’s evolving racial attitudes on issues both on and off the field, ranging from integration to self-determination to masculinity. From Jack Johnson to LeBron James examines the intersection of sports, race, and the media in the twentieth century and beyond. The essays are linked by a number of questions, including: How did the black and white media differ in content and context in their reporting of these stories? How did the media acknowledge race in their stories? Did the media recognize these stories as historically significant? Considering how media coverage has evolved over the years, the essays begin with the racially charged reporting of Jack Johnson’s reign as heavyweight champion and carry up to the present, covering the media narratives surrounding the Michael Vick dogfighting case in a supposedly post-racial era and the media’s handling of LeBron James’s announcement to leave Cleveland for Miami. "

- From the publisher’s website: http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/

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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: How Would You Like to Pay?


How Would You Like to Pay?: How Technology Is Changing the Future of Money By Bill Maurer

How Would You Like to Pay: How Technology Is Changing the Future of Money

"From Bitcoin to Apple Pay, big changes seem to be afoot in the world of money. Yet the use of coins and paper bills has persisted for 3,000 years. In How Would You Like to Pay?, leading anthropologist Bill Maurer narrates money's history, considers its role in everyday life, and discusses the implications of how new technologies are changing how we pay. These changes are especially important in the developing world, where people who lack access to banks are using cell phones in creative ways to send and save money. To truly understand money, Maurer explains, is to understand and appreciate the complex infrastructures and social relationships it relies on. Engaging and straightforward, How Would You Like to Pay? rethinks something so familiar and fundamental in new and exciting ways. Ultimately, considering how we would like to pay gives insights into determining how we would like to live."

- From the author’s website: https://www.dukeupress.edu/how-would-you-like-to-pay

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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: Food and the City


Food and the City: New York’s Professional Chefs, Restaurateurs, Line Cooks, Street Vendors, and Purveyors Talk about What They Do and Why They Do It By Ina Yalof

Food and the City: New York’s Professional Chefs, Restaurateurs, Line Cooks, Street Vendors, and Purveyors Talk about What They Do and Why They Do It

"New Yorkers are so obsessed with eating, they often forget who’s getting the food to them. Here are their stories and their struggles, with appearances by hurricanes, ghettos, poverty, 9/11, Rikers Island, real wars and hot dog wars. You’ll be charmed and you’ll be moved."
- Alan Richman, sixteen-time winner of the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

"A wonderful book in which amazing cooks, chefs, and artisans tell their unique stories. I was particularly taken with the words of the immigrants, who are rarely celebrated. Their lives are not without struggles, crazy long hours and daily frustrations, yet the spirit of New York cuisine is in all of them."
- Jonathan Waxman, chef/owner Barbuto and Jams, NYC and author of Italian, My Way

"...Collectively, Yalof’s assortment of cuisines and memories paints a multiculturally diverse food tapestry, and each individually embodies a passion for food artistry that crosses generations, cultures, nationalities, and all manner of palates. A wide-ranging, toothsome smorgasbord of Gotham’s good eats and the tireless men and women behind each plate."
- Kirkus Review

- From the author’s website: http://www.inayalof.com/food-and-the-city/

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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: The Only Woman in the Room


The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys’ Club By Eileen Pollack

Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys’ Club

"…The Only Woman in the Room is a bracingly honest, no-holds-barred examination of the social, interpersonal, and institutional barriers confronting women—and minorities—in the STEM fields. This frankly personal and informed book reflects on women’s experiences in a way that simple data can’t, documenting not only the more blatant bias of another era but all the subtle disincentives women in the sciences still face."

- From the publisher’s website: http://www.beacon.org/The-Only-Woman-in-the-Room-P1145.aspx

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