Dr. Strangelove's America Society and Culture in the Atomic Age

ISBN-10: 0520083105
ISBN-13: 9780520083103
Edition: 1997
List price: $63.00 Buy it from $7.45
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Description: Did America really learn to "stop worrying and love the bomb," as the title of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film,Dr. Strangelove, would have us believe? Does that darkly satirical comedy have anything in common with Martin Luther King Jr.'s impassioned "I  More...

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Book details

List price: $63.00
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/28/1997
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 478
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 2.090
Language: English

Did America really learn to "stop worrying and love the bomb," as the title of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film,Dr. Strangelove, would have us believe? Does that darkly satirical comedy have anything in common with Martin Luther King Jr.'s impassioned "I Have a Dream" speech or with Elvis Presley's throbbing "I'm All Shook Up"? In Margot Henriksen's vivid depiction of the decades after World War II, all three are expressions of a cultural revolution directly related to the atomic bomb. Although many scientists and other Americans protested the pursuit of nuclear superiority after World War II ended, they were drowned out by Cold War rhetoric that encouraged a "culture of consensus." Nonetheless, Henriksen says, a "culture of dissent" arose, and she traces this rebellion through all forms of popular culture. At first, artists expressed their anger, anxiety, and despair in familiar terms that addressed nuclear reality only indirectly. But Henriksen focuses primarily on new modes of expression that emerged, discussing the disturbing themes of film noir (with extended attention to Alfred Hitchcock) and science fiction films, Beat poetry, rock 'n' roll, and Pop Art. Black humor became a primary weapon in the cultural revolution while literature, movies, and music gave free rein to every possible expression of the generation gap. Cultural upheavals from "flower power" to the civil rights movement accentuated the failure of old values. Filled with fascinating examples of cultural responses to the Atomic Age, Henriksen's book is a must-read for anyone interested in the United States at mid-twentieth century.

Acknowledgments
Preface: Dr. Strangelove's America: or How Americans Learned to Stop Worrying and Live with the Bomb
Knowing Sin: The Vertiginous End to American Innocence
Top of the World: The Corrupting Contours of the Cold War
Vertigo: The Unhinged Moral Universe of Cold War America
Psycho: The Emergence of a Schizoid America in the Age of Anxiety
Duck and Cover: Civil Defense and Existential Anxiety in America
The Snake Pit: America as an Asylum
Wild Ones: Youths in Revolt against Adult America
Is God Dead? An American Awakening on the Eve of Destruction
Time Enough at Last? The Bomb Shelter Craze and the Dawn of America's Moral Awakening
Laughter and a New Myth of Life: Attacking the Menace of the American System
Judgment Day: Dr. Strangelove's Cultural Revolution
Godless Violence and Transcendent Hope: The American Nightmare Exposed and Contained
Notes
Index

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