Containment Culture: American Narratives, Postmodernism, and the Atomic Age

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Duke University Press, 1995 - 332 páginas
Alan Nadel provides a unique analysis of the rise of American postmodernism by viewing it as a breakdown in Cold War cultural narratives of containment. These narratives, which embodied an American postwar foreign policy charged with checking the spread of Communism, also operated, Nadel argues, within a wide spectrum of cultural life in the United States to contain atomic secrets, sexual license, gender roles, nuclear energy, and artistic expression. Because these narratives were deployed in films, books, and magazines at a time when American culture was for the first time able to dominate global entertainment and capitalize on global production, containment became one of the most widely disseminated and highly privileged national narratives in history.
Examining a broad sweep of American culture, from the work of George Kennan to Playboy Magazine, from the movies of Doris Day and Walt Disney to those of Cecil B. DeMille and Alfred Hitchcock, from James Bond to Holden Caulfield, Nadel discloses the remarkable pervasiveness of the containment narrative. Drawing subtly on insights provided by contemporary theorists, including Baudrillard, Foucault, Jameson, Sedgwick, Certeau, and Hayden White, he situates the rhetoric of the Cold War within a gendered narrative powered by the unspoken potency of the atom. He then traces the breakdown of this discourse of containment through such events as the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley, and ties its collapse to the onset of American postmodernism, typified by works such as Catch–22 and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence.
An important work of cultural criticism, Containment Culture links atomic power with postmodernism and postwar politics, and shows how a multifarious national policy can become part of a nation’s cultural agenda and a source of meaning for its citizenry.
 

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Crítica de los usuarios  - stevenschroeder - LibraryThing

Titles signify, as do books. This book's title implies that it is “about” containment culture, American narratives, postmodernism, and the atomic age. But the book signifies nothing, which is what ... Leer comentario completo

Contenido

Appearance Containment and Atomic Power
13
History Science and Hiroshima
38
CONTAINMENT CULTURE
69
Rhetoric Sanity and the Cold War the Significance of Holden Caulfields Testimony
71
Gods Law and the Wide Screen The Ten Commandments as Cold War Epic
90
Lady and or The Tramp Sexual Containment and the Domestic Playboy
117
DOUBLE OR NOTHING
155
The Invasion of Postmodernism The Catch22 of the Bay of Pigs and Liberty Valance
157
My Country Too Time Place and African American Identity in the Work of John A Williams
223
Race Rights Gender and Personal Narrative The Archaeology of Self in Meridian
245
DEMOCRACY
273
Failed Cultural Narratives America in the Postwar Era and the Story of Democracy
275
Conclusion
297
Notes
301
Bibliography
315
Index
327

The Rules for Free Speech Speech Act Theory and the Free Speech Movement
204
TWO NATIONS TOO
221

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Acerca del autor (1995)

Alan Nadel is Professor of Literature at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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