Staff Pick

Beginning with the sobering and somber testimony Marlon Brando gave at his son’s sentencing hearing for murder, William J. Mann’s biography, The Contender (Harper, $35), interweaves three major motifs into each stage of Brando’s life and work. First, there’s Brando’s personal brand of masculinity; bucking traditional chauvinism, this included highly intimate, even romantic (as in the case of the French actor Christian Marquand), relationships with men. Then there’s the actor’s lifelong commitment to social justice. Brando participated in conventional protests—most famously the 1963 March on Washington, which Mann reconstructs in detail, including Brando’s efforts to drum up celebrity support—and unconventional activism, most famously, by having Sacheen Littlefeather appear on his behalf at the 1973 Academy Award ceremony to refuse the Oscar. Perhaps most significantly—or possibly most salaciously, as Mann never shies away from details—there’s Brando’s near constant romantic and familial drama, which Mann characterizes as the star’s greatest failure. Brando’s perennial affairs and his neglect of his family clash with the popular image of Brando as a
ladies’ man.

The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062427649
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harper - October 15th, 2019

Staff Pick

Bill Cunningham on the Street is absolutely mahvolous! This collection of hundreds of his on street photos cataloguing fashion trends is smartly organized by decade to show not only the development of Cunningham’s career but also the styles themselves. This retrospective artfully captures Cunningham’s influential taste and also his sense of humor. We see pictures of New Yorkers galloping over puddles in Prada, facing off against blizzards in Balenciaga, and sauntering through sweltering summer heat in Salvatore Ferragamo.  Interspersed between the sections are interesting essays on various moments and trends in Cunningham’s career by those who knew him best.

Bill Cunningham: On the Street: Five Decades of Iconic Photography Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524763503
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Clarkson Potter - September 3rd, 2019

Staff Pick

This fascinating work, part revisionist biography of George Washington and part social history, grounds Washington in an America still largely belonging to indigenous peoples. Calloway projects a jaded view of our founding father as a wicked, deceitful, malevolent and even murderous brigand. Calloway’s book is a welcome reevaluation of Washington as well as an excellent exhumation of the role of indigenous Americans in the early republic.


The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780190652166
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - April 6th, 2018