The Terror Dream

The Terror Dream

Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America

Book - 2007
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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash comes an unflinching dissection of the mind of America after 9/11.

In this most original examination of America's post-9/11 culture, Susan Faludi shines a light on the country's psychological response to the attacks on that terrible day. Turning her acute observational powers on the media, popular culture, and political life, Faludi unearths a barely acknowledged but bedrock societal drama shot through with baffling contradictions.

Why, she asks, did our culture respond to an assault against American global dominance with a frenzied summons to restore "traditional" manhood, marriage, and maternity? Why did we react as if the hijackers had targeted not a commercial and military edifice but the family home and nursery?

Why did an attack fueled by hatred of Western emancipation lead us to a regressive fixation on Doris Day womanhood and John Wayne masculinity, with trembling "security moms," swaggering presidential gunslingers, and the "rescue" of a female soldier cast as a "helpless little girl"?

The answer, Faludi finds, lies in a historical anomaly unique to the American experience- the nation that in recent memory has been least vulnerable to domestic attack was forged in traumatizing assaults by nonwhite "barbarians" on town and village. That humiliation lies concealed under a myth of cowboy bluster and feminine frailty, which is reanimated whenever threat and shame looms.

Brilliant and important, The Terror Dream shows what 9/11 revealed about us-and offers the opportunity to look at ourselves.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2007
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780805086928
Branch Call Number: 306.240973090511 Fal 3558ad 1
Characteristics: xii, 351 p


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WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

Susan Faludi argues that a post-9/11 return to the myth of macho heroism and female frailty derives from colonial Puritan wars against the Indians and the cowboy conquest of the west. Insightful, darkly humorous and passionate, Faludi's original take on American popular culture, the media and the myth makers is ultimately a serious plea to get beyond the myths in critically examining the flaws in American foreign and domestic policy.

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