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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2007 Susan Faludi (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
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Critic Reviews

"A brilliant, unsentimental, often darkly humorous account of America's nervous breakdown after 9/11." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By S. Weaver on 12-20-07

gender and 9/11

I started this book with the vague sense that Faludi was right, that gender politics had been engaged in some retro ways in the American reaction to 9/11, but that she was probably way overstating it. Faludi convinced me otherwise! She's a terrific, very cogent and clear writer who does her research thoroughly. In fact, I had the same experience when I read Backlash, years ago, feeling like she was only a little right, and then reading it and being utterly persuaded.

Faludi goes into a lot of deeper American history to try to elucidate the story that the media applied so readily to the events of 9/11 and its aftermath. It's all interesting, but some of it is less than productive to her main thesis, and ends up being a bit tangential. But when she's treating major episodes of 9/11-related coverage, such as that of the "rescue" of American soldier Jessica Lynch, she is simply brilliant.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Clive Hazell on 12-15-15

Excellent. Faludi outdoes herself once again.

Where does The Terror Dream rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

That it is factual, and fact.

Have you listened to any of Beth McDonald’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have never heard of Beth McDonald but I was impressed by her forthright attitude.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. Perhaps surprise.

Any additional comments?

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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