by Robert B. Reich
Knopf, 279 pp., $26.95
How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise
Author: Chris Taylor
Publisher: Basic Books
Well ... the seventh Star Wars film will soon be released. And I'm a Star Wars fan. So I must commend this book as an indulgence for any of you who are also Star Wars fans.
And here's just one tidbit -- the original Star Wars plot was influenced in part by Lucas's objection to the heavy-handed U.S. presence in Vietnam. In other words -- at least in some measure -- the Empire was modeled on the United States and the rebels were inspired by the resistance of the North Vietnamese.
In How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise's death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy. In no small part, this book is a biography of George Lucas himself./.../
The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.
Fiction & Poetry
BEATLEBONE. By Kevin Barry. (Doubleday, $24.95.) In razor-sharp prose, Barry’s novel imagines John Lennon in 1978, on a journey through the west of Ireland in search of his creative self, conversing with an Irish driver.
THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT. By Helen Phillips. (Holt, $25.) An administrative worker’s experiences pose existential questions in Phillips’s riveting, drolly surreal debut novel./.../
|November 24, 2015|
|Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz, Germany have unraveled a complex regulatory mechanism that explains how a single gene, NeuroD1, can drive the formation of brain cells. The research, published in The EMBO Journal, is an important step towards a better understanding of how the brain develops and may lead to breakthroughs in … more…|
|November 25, 2015|
Could we use ant-based rules to program swarms of simple robots to build bridges and other structures by connecting to each other?Researchers from Princeton University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) report for the first time that army ants of the species Eciton hamatum that form “living” bridges across breaks and gaps in the forest floor are more sophisticated than scientists knew. The ants exhibit a level of collective intelligence that could provide new insights … more…