For Beginners

In The American Presidency for Beginners, Justin Slaughter Doty boils down the first 44 presidents and over 200 years of history in 290 pages. Highly opinionated yet generally fair-minded, Doty isn’t afraid to call out presidents captive to... Read more


Writer-Director Mike Mills imbues 20th Century Women with an indie filmmaker’s respect for reality on a human scale. The film is inhabited by a handful of characters with enough dimension to feel fully human—unlike the stick figures that fi... Read more

Film Reviews

Ron David calls Toni Morrison a “literary Conjure Woman” and for good reason: her stories are vast, tricky, complex, multi-layered and, as he concedes, sometimes hard to figure. In Toni Morrison for Beginners he summarizes her life and n... Read more


The U.S. locks up an abnormally high percentage of its citizens. Prison Industrial Complex for Beginners by Lehigh University Africana studies professor James Braxton Peterson is an attempt to get at the roots of the situation. Read more


Steve Bachmann proselytizes for the author in the cartoon-illustrated Proust for Beginners, a useful handbook situating Proust in history and explicating his merits. Read more

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