Memories of Overdevelopment:
Reviews and Essays of Two Decades
By Luis H. Francia
Luis Francia chronicles Filipino politics, culture, and protest in the form of book and film reviews, on-site political reportage, and personal essays. From Manila to the East Village, and from Imelda Marcos to The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Francia trudges through the wreckage of mainstream representations, the culture wars, and armed conflict, exposing us to both the serious and the wacky sides of Philippine politics and Pinoy (Filipino American) art and culture.
Living the Bill of Rights:
How To Be an Authentic American
By Nat Hentoff
HarperCollins, 236 pp., $25
Written as a series of profiles, Living the Bill of Rights is Nat Hentoff’s view of “authentic Americans”—people who, for him, exemplify the complicated beauty of America’s founding freedoms: speech, religion, assembly, and the like. From Supreme Court Justice William Brennan to Anthony Griffin, the black Texas attorney who was fired from the NAACP for representing a Klansman, Hentoff’s profiles aim to “make the Bill of Rights come off the page.”
The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture
in the Absence of Communism
By J. Hoberman
Temple University Press,
315 pp., $34.95
Arguing that communism was, in part, the greatest aesthetic project of the 20th century, J. Hoberman glances steadily backward at everything from Socialist Realism to The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And in paying tribute to artists like the now forgotten Russian writer Victor Serge (whose work was “like both the right-wing Italian futurists and the leftist Russian constructivists”), The Red Atlantis is kind of a goodbye letter to Cold War art.