What We Are Reading Today: Singular Sensation by Michael Riedel

What We Are Reading Today: Singular Sensation by Michael Riedel
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Updated 16 November 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Singular Sensation by Michael Riedel

What We Are Reading Today: Singular Sensation by Michael Riedel

This is the extraordinary story of a transformative decade on Broadway, featuring gripping behind-the-scenes accounts of shows such as Rent, Angels in America, Chicago, The Lion King, and The Producers that changed the history of the American theater.

Singular Sensation serves as a follow-up to Michael Riedel’s well-received Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway.

Riedel, the longtime columnist for the New York Post, has crafted an impressive career of providing insights and tantalizingly juicy bits about the New York theater scene. 

“Broadway is good at comebacks,” writes Riedel. 

Riedel “presents the drama behind every mega-hit or shocking flop, bringing readers into high-stakes premieres, fraught rehearsals, tough contract negotiations, intense Tony Award battles, and more,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“From the bitter feuds to the surprising collaborations, all the intrigue of a revolutionary era in the Theater District is packed into Singular Sensation. Broadway has triumphs and disasters, but the show always goes on,” said the review. 

It said Reidel’s “love for Broadway is apparent in the energy and research that powers this book.”

“Riedel shows us how shows get made and contracts are negotiated.”


What We Are Reading Today: Gangsters and Other Statesmen by Danilo Mandic

Updated 03 December 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Gangsters and Other Statesmen by Danilo Mandic

What We Are Reading Today: Gangsters and Other Statesmen by Danilo Mandic

Separatism has been on the rise across the world since the end of the Cold War, dividing countries through political strife, ethnic conflict, and civil war, and redrawing the political map. Gangsters and Other Statesmen examines the role transnational mafias play in the success and failure of separatist movements, challenging conventional wisdom about the interrelation of organized crime with peacebuilding, nationalism, and state making.

Danilo Mandic conducted fieldwork in the disputed territories of Kosovo and South Ossetia, talking to mobsters, separatists, and policymakers in war zones and along major smuggling routes. In this timely and provocative book, he demonstrates how globalized mafias shape the politics of borders in torn states, shedding critical light on an autonomous nonstate actor that has been largely sidelined by considerations of geopolitics, state-centered agency, and ethnonationalism. Blending extensive archival sleuthing and original ethnographic data with insights from sociology and other disciplines, Mandic argues that organized crime can be a fateful determinant of state capacity, separatist success, and ethnic conflict.

Putting mafias at the center of global processes of separatism and territorial consolidation, Gangsters and Other Statesmen raises vital questions and urges reconsideration of a host of separatist cases in West Africa, the Middle East, and East Europe.