In the past two weeks, both Paul Cantor and I have released new books on television, literature and film.
My new book, Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre is now available on Amazon. The book examines the relationship between the Western genre and the bourgeois liberalism of nineteenth-century America, and looks how at how post-war Westerns, which appealed to a generation of New Deal-loving, Cold War-enamored nationalists, teach us that capitalism is bad and the nation-state is good. It includes a forward by Paul Cantor.
Also newly available is Paul Cantor’s extensive study of television and film, The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV. If you read Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization (which I reviewed here.) you’ll remember that Cantor can take pretty much any television show, such as Gilligan’s Island, and dissect it using everything from Homer to Shakespeare to Marshall McLuhan, and entertain you while doing it.
In The Invisible Hand, Cantor provides a section on Westerns, and from there goes on to examine South Park, Mars Attacks! and more.
The great Liberty magazine, edited by R.W. Bradford from 1987 to 2005 and since then by Stephen Cox, has decided to abandon paper and become a completely online journal. This is a harbinger of things to come, as the publishing world adapts to the advent of the Internet and digital information. My own journal, Libertarian Papers, was founded in 2009 as an online journal; and, perhaps presaging things to come, Liberty‘s entire archive was recently put online on Mises.org. Cox himself, a brilliant writer, is also the heroic co-editor (with the brilliant Paul Cantor) of the critically acclaimed Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture–published in free online epub and pdf formats by the Mises Institute. The November 2010 issue of Liberty contains the following editorial:
From the Editor
I want to make an announcement about an important change in Liberty. After our next issue — December 2010 — Liberty will cease to be a print journal. Thereafter it will appear online, in a free, fully revised website that will carry features, reviews, reflections, comments from readers, and a complete archive of all the issues we have published since our founding in 1987.
This is a big change, and it brings both happy and unhappy thoughts. Unhappy, because we all value the printed word and the familiar appearance of Liberty. Happy, because online publication will enable our authors’ contributions to appear more frequently, and closer to the events on which they comment. And I predict that an online site will bring us more readers.