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The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America

by

The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It has become clear over the years that the reaction of America's politicians and media to the attacks of 9/11 was bizarrely misdirected and dangerous to our national security. But no one has fully probed its cultural roots. Until now. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Susan Faludi brilliantly demonstrates how our culture's seemingly inexplicable response was actually a reflex set centuries deep in the American grain. Her analysis of what went on in the months and years after 9/11 will shock even those who thought they knew the full measure of that tragedy (as her account of the post-9/11 media marketing of flight-suit superheroes, cowering "security moms,"  Jessica-Lynchesque helpless "girls," and Daniel Boone–wannabe politicians will outrage and amuse).

A masterwork of historical interpretation and a Rosetta stone for deciphering the ongoing spectacle of American politics, journalism, and culture, The Terror Dream flushes from hiding a forceful dynamic that disfigures our lives even in times of normalcy, and that, unless it is confronted, will send us reeling in a wrong direction the next time tragedy strikes.

Susan Faludi is the author of Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man and Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Nation, among other publications. She lives in San Francisco.
A National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee
 
In this examination of Americas post-9/11 culture, Susan Faludi looks at the countrys psychological response to the attacks on that day. In her observational study of 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 looms.

 
The Terror Dream is also available on CD as an unabridged audiobook. Please email academic@macmillan.com for more information.
"Throughout the book, Faludi provides stunning and depressing evidence of a concerted effort to silence women and roll back women's rights in the wake of 9/11 and to transform the attack on a U.S. financial symbol where men and women worked side by side into an assault on family and hearth. She shows over and over again how some conservatives and right-wing media and bloggers have blamed the attack on a society feminized and emasculated by the women's movement."Amy Wilentz, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Feminism, like a trampoline, has made possible this splendid provocation of a book, levitating to keep company with Hunter Thompson's fear and loathing, Leslie Fielder's love and death, and Edmund Wilson's patriotic gore."John Leonard, The New York Times Book Review
 
"Throughout the book, Faludi provides stunning and depressing evidence of a concerted effort to silence women and roll back women's rights in the wake of 9/11 and to transform the attack on a U.S. financial symbol where men and women worked side by side into an assault on family and hearth. She shows over and over again how some conservatives and right-wing media and bloggers have blamed the attack on a society feminized and emasculated by the women's movement."Amy Wilentz, Los Angeles Times
 
"Faludi here has once again described the pushback, the demand to retain the straitjacketed roles that tell us what a man and a woman should be.  With a rigorous insistence on truth, not comforting stories, Faludi proposes we can still awaken from the terror dream."Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"A first-rate journalist . . . An ambitious engagement with a provocative idea . . . Like the best polemicsand the word need not be pejorativeyou can disagree vehemently with her yet find your own argument sharpened and strengthened by the power of hers."Chicago Tribune

"Incisive . . . Faludi remains a keen observer of the present . . . She marshals provocative evidence, documenting such phenomena as a decline of women's bylines in national newspapers and a forty percent drop in federal sex-discrimination prosecutions."The New Yorker

 
“Any list of important books about that dark day will now have to include Faludis sharp and spirited account of gender politics in the feverish aftermath . . . [Her] overall argument is powerful, convincing, and very much in need of articulation by a bestselling author who can commandeer a public pulpit.”The Washington Post Book World

“In The Terror Dream, Susan Faludi argues that the ‘symbolic war at home waged to ‘repair and restore a national myth of invulnerability adds up to a real war against the wrong foeAmerican women. It leaves us without real security or a workable foreign policy . . . The Terror Dream is a worthy sequel to Backlash and Stiffed, Faludis now-classic dissections of late twentieth-century gender politics . . . As in those books, Faludi reads deeply and widely in popular media to make The Terror Dreams case for the manufactured, yet all too real, revival of antifeminism.”David Waldstreicher, The Nation

"[Faludi's] is a lively, important argument, a discussion highly worth having as we wake from our own terror dreams and try to figure out how all of us, male and female, wound up in the dangerous place where we find ourselves today."Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine

 
"Faludi's talent isn't just in reflecting the zeitgeist; her ideas often shape the dialogue."Reyhan Harmanci, San Francisco Chronicle

The Terror Dream is exhaustive and compelling, and it not only instructs the reader in how to parse the often puzzling turns in the media and popular culture . . . but also reveals a deep and abiding

narrative that has lain underneath the very conception of how we view ourselves as ‘Americans.”Kelly Mayhew, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Synopsis:

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and bestselling author of Backlash, examines America's deeply-rooted attitude toward gender....

Synopsis:

It has become clear over the years that the reaction of America's politicians and media to the attacks of 9/11 was bizarrely misdirected and dangerous to our national security. But no one has fully probed its cultural roots. Until now. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Susan Faludi brilliantly demonstrates how our culture's seemingly inexplicable response was actually a reflex set centuries deep in the American grain. Her analysis of what went on in the months and years after 9/11 will shock even those who thought they knew the full measure of that tragedy (as her account of the post-9/11 media marketing of flight-suit superheroes, cowering "security moms,"  Jessica-Lynchesque helpless "girls," and Daniel Boone-wannabe politicians will outrage and amuse).

A masterwork of historical interpretation and a Rosetta stone for deciphering the ongoing spectacle of American politics, journalism, and culture, The Terror Dream flushes from hiding a forceful dynamic that disfigures our lives even in times of normalcy, and that, unless it is confronted, will send us reeling in a wrong direction the next time tragedy strikes.

Synopsis:

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and bestselling author of Backlash, examines America's deeply-rooted attitude toward gender and the enduring power of mythic cultural images from the earliest settler wars to our current “war on terror.”

In the groundbreaking tradition of Backlash, The Terror Dream looks at the ways in which the media responses to 9/11 manipulated traditional gender roles and rescue fantasies. By returning to America's founding myths, Susan Faludi shows how the terrorist attacks cracked open the master narrative of American prowess. Though they were called unimaginable, the attacks were not the first of their kind; indeed a searing war against European civilians by “terrorists” was the foundational experience of the American colonies.

The Terror Dream shows how our original "war on terrorism" formed the American character, and how our attempts to suppress our early vulnerability gave birth to a carefully constructed hero narrative that lives on in current day cinema, television, journalism, and public policy.

In an argument that spans from colonial captivity narratives to John Wayne films to the fictional rescue of Jessica Lynch, Faludi brilliantly shows how the shock of 9/11 returned us to the deepest American traditions, how our cultural response exposed a gender myth in which our sense of national invincibility rests on men being heroic rescuers, which in turn requires that women be in need of rescue. In the words of Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed, "This is a book that had to be written, and only Susan Faludi could do it so brilliantly and engrossingly."

About the Author

Susan Faludi is the author of Stiffed and Backlash, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, among other publications. She lives in San Francisco.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312428006
Author:
Faludi, Susan
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
United States - 21st Century
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Terrorism
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Fear
Subject:
National characteristics, american
Subject:
United States Civilization 1970-
Subject:
anthropology;cultural anthropology
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 1.073 in

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » American Studies » 80s to Present
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$20.00 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Picador USA - English 9780312428006 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and bestselling author of Backlash, examines America's deeply-rooted attitude toward gender....
"Synopsis" by ,

It has become clear over the years that the reaction of America's politicians and media to the attacks of 9/11 was bizarrely misdirected and dangerous to our national security. But no one has fully probed its cultural roots. Until now. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Susan Faludi brilliantly demonstrates how our culture's seemingly inexplicable response was actually a reflex set centuries deep in the American grain. Her analysis of what went on in the months and years after 9/11 will shock even those who thought they knew the full measure of that tragedy (as her account of the post-9/11 media marketing of flight-suit superheroes, cowering "security moms,"  Jessica-Lynchesque helpless "girls," and Daniel Boone-wannabe politicians will outrage and amuse).

A masterwork of historical interpretation and a Rosetta stone for deciphering the ongoing spectacle of American politics, journalism, and culture, The Terror Dream flushes from hiding a forceful dynamic that disfigures our lives even in times of normalcy, and that, unless it is confronted, will send us reeling in a wrong direction the next time tragedy strikes.

"Synopsis" by ,

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and bestselling author of Backlash, examines America's deeply-rooted attitude toward gender and the enduring power of mythic cultural images from the earliest settler wars to our current “war on terror.”

In the groundbreaking tradition of Backlash, The Terror Dream looks at the ways in which the media responses to 9/11 manipulated traditional gender roles and rescue fantasies. By returning to America's founding myths, Susan Faludi shows how the terrorist attacks cracked open the master narrative of American prowess. Though they were called unimaginable, the attacks were not the first of their kind; indeed a searing war against European civilians by “terrorists” was the foundational experience of the American colonies.

The Terror Dream shows how our original "war on terrorism" formed the American character, and how our attempts to suppress our early vulnerability gave birth to a carefully constructed hero narrative that lives on in current day cinema, television, journalism, and public policy.

In an argument that spans from colonial captivity narratives to John Wayne films to the fictional rescue of Jessica Lynch, Faludi brilliantly shows how the shock of 9/11 returned us to the deepest American traditions, how our cultural response exposed a gender myth in which our sense of national invincibility rests on men being heroic rescuers, which in turn requires that women be in need of rescue. In the words of Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed, "This is a book that had to be written, and only Susan Faludi could do it so brilliantly and engrossingly."

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