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 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 gun-slingers, 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 non-white "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 - as they did on September 11th.
Brilliant and important, The Terror Dream shows what 9/11 revealed about us - and offers the opportunity to look at ourselves anew.
"A brilliant, unsentimental, often darkly humorous account of America's nervous breakdown after 9/11." (Publishers Weekly)
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gender and 9/11
- S. Weaver
Excellent. Faludi outdoes herself once again.
Very highly, but it will not be for everyone. Faludi's work however is meticulously researched and smartly written. She is a very articulate writer who brings together many loose ends and puts them together for the reader.
That it is factual, and fact.
I have never heard of Beth McDonald but I was impressed by her forthright attitude.
No. Perhaps surprise.
Susan Faludi is an intellect in the USA, and she deserves far more kudos and recognition than she gets. She has an eye to social history and this aspect is crucial for me in making sense of the world today.
- Clive Hazell