Archive for the ‘History & Culture’ Category

The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings, by Jan Harold Brunvand – Dedication

In Adventure, Books, History & Culture, Psychology on November 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Sometimes, a book needs an awesomely special dedication — like JK Rowling’s shout out to fans in the final Harry Potter book.  Jan Harold Brunvand’s 1981 analysis of American urban legends had us guessing. Would she dedicate it to the butchered babysitter? the snake in the blanket? an infamous nude-surprise-party? Instead, she dedicated the book to young people (even the non-believers):

To my students

past and present

believers and skeptics alike

Life and Death of Classical Music by Norman Lebrecht

In Books, History & Culture on September 9, 2010 at 11:20 am

The Life! The Death. Norman Lebrecht analyzes classical music’s maestros in eight chapters of Ms: Matinee, Middlemen, Midpoint, Millionaires, Miracles on Miracles, Madness, Melton and Post Mortem.

Norman’s book dedication ~

In memory of

Klaus Tennstedt (1926 – 1998)

a studio nightmare

Norman Lebrecht co-authored Klaus’s obituary.

Klaus Tennstedt achieved fame all over Europe conducting and interpreting classical music. In 1971, he broke out of East Germany thanks to an error in his exit visa. Klaus then enjoyed a new career conducting in New York, Toronto, Boston and London before his death from cancer in 1998.

According to Norman’s obituary, the sudden fame overwhelmed Tennstedt:

Whirling around the hemisphere of world-class orchestras, he was ravaged by self-doubt: who am I to direct musicians accustomed only to the greatest? At his first rehearsal in Philadelphia he related, tears coursing down his cheeks, how in the Hitler era he had crawled with his gramophone beneath an eiderdown to listen reverently to their forbidden recordings with Stokowoski.

Read more about him in Norman Lebrecht’s other books >>

And follow Norman on Twitter

The Professor of Secrets by William Eamon – Dedication

In Books, History & Culture on August 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

William Eamon and National Geographic released a terrific book this year called The Professor of Secrets: Mystery, Medicine, and Alchemy in Renaissance Italy. Eamon mixes science and history with Harry Potter mystique in chapters like The Marvelous Virtues of Precipitato, An Academy of Magi and Mathematical Magic.

I almost missed the dedication – it’s hidden on the publication details page:

para Elbita con amor,

y para Miguelito con esparanza

Loosely translated:

For Elbita my love and for Miguelito my hope

More Than Just a Game Soccer vs. Apartheid by Korr and Close – Dedication

In Books, History & Culture, sports on June 23, 2010 at 8:19 am

More Than Just a Game – Soccer vs. Apartheid by Chuck Korr and Marvin Close examines race relations and cultural change among South Africa’s prison football teams. Awesome book. Check it out. The title comes from a Nelson Mandela quote. Mandela and other political prisoners played soccer in Robben Island prisons, eventually organizing a formal league. Sports played a pivotal role in their fight against apartheid. Soccer became “more than just a game.”

Chuck Korr and Marvin Close’s dedication in More Than Just a Game ~

To the men of Robben Island

and the free South Africa

they helped to create.