Tony Schwartz records a hippo in the Central Park Zoo. New York, NY

Tony Schwartz: An Ad Man’s Artistic Legacy

Tony Schwartz, ad man and urban folklorist's artistic legacy from his compilation of audio archive sounds that connected everyday life with the wider world.
Deborah Eisenberg, short story writer, New York, NY.

The Stories of Deborah Eisenberg

Two short stories by Deborah Eisenberg.

The Re-Release of a Classic

A new American edition of Ronald Blythe's Akenfield reminds us why it became one of the founding texts of oral history.
George Costanza

Renegade and Folk Hero: The Lasting Appeal of George Costanza

Seinfeld's George Costanza holds a strange place in culture. He's loved, but unlovable. At the heart of that contradiction is his status as folk hero.
Frank Sinatra was arrested when he was 19 years old for the crime of "seduction" in New Jersey.

Frank Sinatra’s Radical Past

On the occaision of Frank Sinatra's centennial, we look into his radical past.
Devo onstage in their trademark bright yellow costumes.

Devo’s Brilliant Use of Irony

The New Wave band Devo mocked the music industry from within.
Raw kombu

Tasty! The Story of MSG

MSG, the Japanese flavor enhancer, has grown into an international sensation. But its history is also fraught with tension.
Christmas Lights

The Class Perceptions of Christmas Decorations in Great Britain

In the U.K., Christmas decorations are often associated with the lower-class, and such visibility has been scorned and criticized.
Photo credit: Mrs. Harvey Cook reading with two boys, 1904. (Miami University Libraries) https://www.flickr.com/photos/muohio_digital_collections/3191913115/

Cultural Capital

Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu's 1970s concept of cultural capital has been co-opted by economics, racial studies, and education.
Time is money.

It Turns Out Ordinary Life is Full of Poetry (Metaphorically Speaking)

The metaphor isn't just a literary device; it informs our conceptual understanding of language and the world.