Women in Game of Thrones, Pollock Bio, Philology’s Worth, & More | Arts & Humanities Reviews

redstarFrankel, Valerie Estelle. Women in Game of Thrones: Power, Conformity and Resistance. McFarland. Jul. 2014. 216p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780786494163. pap. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781476615547. TV

womengameofthrones062714Amid the passionate fervor that surrounds the popular HBO show, this text highlights a crucial point of contention with fans of the original source material: the treatment of its female characters. Readers will find deeper insight into the program’s hotly debated use of gratuitous nudity, the damaging male gaze, and the excessive instances of violence against women. Pop culture critic Frankel (Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey) expertly details the vast—and tragic—differences among the complexly layered and relatable characters George R.R. Martin initially imagined in his books and the clichéd arche­types portrayed on the show, easily fitting them into tired television tropes. Frankel explores the characters one by one, highlighting the ways in which their nuances have been stripped down in favor of one-note, male-centered representations. The book is also peppered with intriguing anecdotes of women throughout history and possible influences for Martin’s depictions, including pirates, duelists, and warriors. VERDICT Thoroughly researched and impressively analyzed, this is highly recommended reading for fans of both book and small-screen series who are interested in valid criticisms and the feminist viewpoint.—Kate DiGirolomo, Library Journal

redstarIngram, Catherine (text) & Peter Arkle (illus.). This Is Pollock. Laurence King. (This Is). 2014. 80p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781780673462. $15.95. FINE ARTS

This Is PollockThe third book in the series by freelance art historian Ingram is a concise account of the life of abstract expressionist Jackson ­Pollock (1912–56). Ingram and Scottish illustrator Arkle portray their subject as a misunderstood victim of a fitful art world, addiction, depression, and other circumstances. The legendary “bad boy” stories about Pollock are not omitted; rather, ­Ingram recaps and explains the artist’s blunders in context, shedding light on some important details about his time, life, and personal affairs (including a formidable mother, an alcoholic father, and a clinical diagnosis of extreme introversion). The author’s sensitive perspective is positively augmented by Arkle’s youthful, graphic novel–like illustrations, which set this book apart from the many others about the too-brief existence of ­Pollock. What the title is not is a naïve dramatization. The erudite Ingram sticks to the facts while theorizing that politics and society played a role in both the rise and the downward spiral of the man. VERDICT A refreshing and honest book that implores readers to be sympathetic rather than disdainful of one of American’s greatest painters. While historically accurate, theoretical, and critical, this work is not for those looking for dense art history, theory, or criticism.—­Jennifer H. Krivickas, Univ. of ­Cincinnati Lib.

redstarTurner, James. Philology: The Forgotten Origins of the Modern Humanities. Princeton Univ. Jun. 2014. 544p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780691145648. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781400850150. LIT

PhilologyTurner (Cavanaugh Professor of Humanities, Univ. of Notre Dame) has written an extensive work on the forgotten subject of philology. He explains that while philology has “fallen on hard times” it is the discipline in which many of the humanities and certain social sciences had their origins. While, according to Turner, the subject has become largely forgotten today because many view it as just the study of old texts. He illustrates that it has a much broader application and includes the study of the history, evolution, and structures of not only texts but also languages. In the author’s examples throughout history, he shows how philology’s methods of scholarship reached many different areas, from history to biblical research to literature studies. Turner’s work is very thorough and yet easy to read. VERDICT Scholars and students will find this a rewarding volume. Turner does a fantastic job of introducing how the history of philology is also, in turn, a chronicle of the various branches of the humanities and why looking at this connection might help demonstrate the humanities’ worth among academic disciplines.—Scott Duimstra, Capital Area Dist. Lib., Lansing, MI

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Fine Arts

Brown, Andrew. Art & Ecology Now. Thames & Hudson. 2014. 256p. illus. index. ISBN 9780500239162. $50. FINE ARTS

Comer, Stuart & others. Whitney Biennial 2014. Whitney. 2014. 416p. illus. ISBN 9780300196870. pap. $55. FINE ARTS

Hall, James. The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History. Thames & Hudson. 2014. 288p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780500239100. $35. FINE ARTS

Jolles, Adam. The Curatorial Avant-Garde: Surrealism and Exhibition Practice in France, 1925–1941. Pennsylvania State Univ. 2014. 288p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780271064154. $74.95. FINE ARTS

McGuirk, Justin. Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture. Verso. Jun. 2014. 288p. index. ISBN 9781781682807. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781781682814. ARCH


Andrews, Chris. Roberto Bolaño’s Fiction: An Expanding Universe. Columbia Univ. Jul. 2014. 304p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780231168069. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780231537537. LIT

Corman, Avery. My Old Neighborhood Remembered. Barricade. Jun. 2014. 192p. photos. ISBN 9781569805183. $19.95. LIT

Johnson, Barbara. A Life with Mary Shelley. Stanford Univ. (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics). Jul. 2014. 192p. ed. by Judith Butler & Shoshana Felman. notes. ISBN 9780804790529. $70; pap. ISBN 9780804791250. $22.95. LIT

Sorrentino, Paul. Stephen Crane: A Life of Fire. Belknap: Harvard Univ. Jun. 2014. 520p. ISBN 9780674049536. $39.95. LIT

Tolkien, J.R.R. Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary. Houghton Harcourt. 2014. 448p. notes. ed. by Christopher Tolkien. ISBN 9780544442788. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780544442795. LIT

Performing Arts

Audissino, Emilio. John Williams’s Film Music: Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Return of the Classical Hollywood Music Style. Univ. of Wisconsin. (Wisconsin Film Studies). Jun. 2014. 332p. photos. filmog. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780299297343. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780299297336. FILM

Heyman, C. David. Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love. Emily Bestler: Atria. Jul. 2014. 448p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781439191774. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781439191798. FILM

Murphy, Gareth. Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2014. 416p. bibliog. ISBN 9781250043375. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466841741. MUSIC


Brown, Wendy & Rainer Forst. The Power of Tolerance: A Debate. Columbia Univ. (New Directions in Critical Theory). Jun. 2014. 104p. ed. by Luca Di Blasi & Christoph F.E. Holzhey. notes. ISBN 9780231170185. $45; pap. ISBN 9780231170192. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780231537964. PHIL


Kaufman, Ellen. House Music. Able Muse. 2014. 94p. ISBN 9781927409251. pap. $17.95. POETRY

Spirituality & Religion

Lanier, W. Mark. Christianity on Trial: A Lawyer Examines the Christian Faith. IVP. Jun. 2014. 240p. illus. notes. ISBN 9780830836673. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780830896349. REL

redstarVermes, Geza. The True Herod. Bloomsbury Academic. 2014. 181p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780567575449. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780567186577. REL

Wiebe, Phillip H. Visions and Appearances of Jesus. Leafwood. Jul. 2014. 240p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9780891126089. pap. $14.99. REL

Sports & Recreation

Randolph, Willie. The Yankee Way: Playing, Coaching, and My Life in Baseball. Dey: HarperCollins. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780061450778. $26.99. SPORTS

Williams, Claudia. Ted Williams, My Father. Ecco: HarperCollins. 2014. 480p. ISBN 9780062259561. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780062298836. SPORTS

redstarZirin, Dave. Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy. Haymarket. Jun. 2014. 240p. photos. notes. ISBN 9781608463602. pap. $16 ; ebk. ISBN 9781608464333. SPORTS

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