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essay   Kurt Cobain came out of nowhere in 1991 and unwittingly became the symbol of disaffected youth. Cobain, true to his punk ethos, became an icon through sheer iconoclasm. Along with his band Nirvana, he frenetically took the world of music and pop culture by storm before tragically taking his own life. Rock critic Michael Azerrad reflects on Cobain and the fragmentation of modern American iconhood.  
excerpt   Joseph Stalin, one of the most powerful leaders of the twentieth century, and perhaps the greatest mass murderer in Western history, left an indelible mark upon the world. Known simply as the Boss, his dark legacy, though marked by severe suffering, makes for one fascinating read. Get a behind the scenes look at the summit at Yalta in this excerpt from Edvard Radzinsky's Stalin, and...  
editor's comment   Read a comment by Radzinsky's editor at Doubleday, Jesse Cohen.  
excerpt   One of our favorite icons is the indomnitable Winston Churchill, whose courage and curmudgeonliness led Britain through some of its most difficult times. This excerpt from William Manchester's The Last Lion demonstrates amply why we're such fans.  
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