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Music in the 1980s was a cacophony of genre. From rap – and artists such as Grandmaster Flash and Run DMC – to R&B, New Wave, and heavy metal, the decade was filled with musical innovation and success – and in no genre more so than dance pop.

Dance pop in the 1980s represented a fusion of musical style, an exciting new take on popular music that used electronics to create anthemic songs, which have endured well into the present day. From Dead or Alive to Milli Vanilli, the musical legacy of 1980s pop music transcended its time and is still widely adored today.

The lasting power of these songs, as well as the creative minds, lifestyles, and work processes behind them, are the focal point of McFarland author James Arena’s new title, Europe’s Stars of ‘80s Dance Pop. Comprised of original interviews with 32 of the industry’s most widely adored creatives, ‘80s Dance Pop deconstructs the music and careers of some of the most celebrated ‘80s stars, gaining personal insight into the workings of the pop industry in its best-remembered era.

This new text is filled with fascinating dialogues with industry professionals, such as Yasmin Evans (of Yazz fame):

“Success in the music industry is a powerful, emotive road to be on; that’s for sure. The nature of the beast of success is that it wants to be maintained, nurtured and kept going. It’s simply not happy to have one hit; there have to be more. […] I couldn’t believe it—the pressure was so intense early on. You are number one pretty much all over Europe and other continents, and it felt like it happened too quickly—way too quickly."

It also includes in-depth, personal interviews with some of the 1980s’ biggest music stars, including Pete Burns, of Dead or Alive:

"I’m really not interested in what people think of me, especially the negativity. As a living human being, I’ve refused to pay any attention to it. […] With the music, I’ve said before that you’re buying the record, not me. Thank you for buying the record, but you haven’t bought me.”

Europe’s Stars of ‘80s Dance Pop also features special forewords by Dallas star Audrey Landers and Academy Award-winning legend Mel Brooks, who discusses his 1983 film To Be or Not to Be – and its controversial accompanying song:

"They wouldn’t play it on the radio or television in America. They thought the video was a little too sexy and a little too out there. […] But the Germans did have something I believe was called the cinema club, sort of an underground movie theater circuit, and there must have been a thousand of those places all throughout the country. If we made any money from the film, it was there.”

This new McFarland title is available to order now from the Eurospan Bookstore, along with a wider selection of James Arena's titles, which provide in-depth perspectives on a multitude of musical styles across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Comments | Posted in New Books By Eurospanners

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This May, the South Dakota Historical Society Press will publish Pioneer Girl Perspectives, a collection of illuminating essays on Laura Ingalls Wilder and her work. This volume builds upon Wilder’s previously published, bestselling memoir Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography with a wealth of contextual perspectives and is perfect for fans hoping to gain further insight into the conception of the much-loved Little House books.

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) finished Pioneer Girl in 1930 when she was sixty-three years old. After several rejections from publishers, she drew upon her original manuscript to write the Little House books which continue to enthral readers today. Until the release of Pioneer Girl  in 2014, the memoir had only been available at the Hoover Presidential Library (Iowa) as an unedited rough draft.

Initially, the press only expected the book to be successful within the academic community, but it quickly became a worldwide hit. Generations of Little House fans welcomed the release and took to bookshops in droves. The book received a lot of international press coverage, was featured on the New York Times bestseller list, sold translation rights, and had to be reprinted multiple times within the first few months of publication as demand was so high. The unexpected success of Pioneer Girl revealed a profound absence of material on the history of the Little House series. An absence that Wilders’ fans are clearly keen to have filled.

Pioneer Girl Perspectives
In Pioneer Girl Perspectives, Nancy Tystad Koupal has collected essays from noted scholars of Wilder’s life and work that explore the themes and genesis of Wilder’s writings. They shed new light on the story behind Wilder’s original manuscript and examines the ways in which the author and her daughter and editor, Rose Wilder Lane, worked to develop a marketable narrative. The contributors delve into the myths and realities of Wilder’s work to discover the real lives of frontier children, the influence of time and place on both Wilder and Lane, and the role of folklore in the Little House novels.

Together, the essays give readers a deeper understanding of how Wilder built and managed her story. Published over eighty years after its inception, Pioneer Girl gave readers new insight into the truth behind Wilder’s fiction. Pioneer Girl Perspectives further explores the importance of Wilder as an influential American author whose stories of growing up on the frontier remain relevant today.

For more information on Laura Ingalls Wilder, frontier life, and all things Pioneer Girl, check out The Pioneer Girl Project blog!

Comments | Posted in New Books By Eurospanners

New Year’s Resolutions

5 Jan 2017 09:00:00

Happy New Year from all of us at Eurospan!

The start of another year traditionally gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past year, and to make New Year’s resolutions for what we want to do differently in the year ahead.

Common resolutions are to eat healthily, exercise, quit smoking, cut down on drinking, or reduce stress. Yet changing our behaviours is difficult; despite our best intentions, few of us achieve our resolutions.

A way to break unhealthy habits and to commit to making a change is shown in Changing to Thrive from Hazelden Publishing. It uses a six-stage process is based on the stages of change model, developed by James Prochaska in collaboration with Carlo DiClement, which has revolutionized the field of behaviour change. It assesses your readiness to change and then shows how to progress through stages of the change you want to make, using interactive exercises and checklists.

Changing to Thrive

Changing to Thrive shows constructive and step-by-step ways to finding the willpower to create lasting change, whatever the time of year.

Comments | Posted in New Books By Eurospanners

The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the largest marine oil spill in history. The blowout destroyed the oil rig, seriously injured 115 crew members and killed 11 people. As a result, 4.9 million barrels of oil was released into the Gulf of Mexico, and although the rig was situated near the core of the oil and gas service industry along the Gulf coast, it took BP three months to cap the well.

Last month saw the Hollywood Blockbuster, Deepwater Horizon, hit cinema screens and this month Brookings Institution Press releases an in-depth look at the story behind the disaster; the story that neither BP nor the federal government wants heard.

BP Blowout

BP Blowout: Inside the Gulf Oil Disaster is the first comprehensive account of the legal, economic and environmental consequences of the April 2010 blowout at a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico. A former Justice Department lawyer responsible for enforcing environmental laws, author Daniel Jacobs reveals how BP and the government fell short, both in terms of preventing and coping with the accident.

BP has paid tens of billions of dollars to settle claims and law suits arising from the accident: the company also has pled guilty to manslaughter in a separate criminal case. Yet, no one responsible for the accident itself is headed to prison. On the other hand, hundreds of people have been prosecuted for filing false claims against BP, some 75 of whom have been sentenced to prison.

This important book for readers interested in the environment, sustainability, public policy, leadership and the consequences of poor risk management can be pre-ordered here. Read more about the disaster and its consequences here.

Comments | Posted in New Books By Eurospanners

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