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Author Henriksen, Margot A.

Title Dr. Strangelove's America : society and culture in the atomic age / Margot A. Henriksen.

Publication Info. Berkeley : University of California Press, [1997]


Location Call No. Status
 University of Saint Joseph: Pope Pius XII Library - Standard Shelving Location  973.9 H518D    Check Shelf
Description xxv, 451 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 389-435) and index.
Contents Preface: Dr. Strangelove's America: or How Americans Learned to Stop Worrying and Live with the Bomb -- Pt. 1. Knowing Sin: The Vertiginous End to American Innocence. Ch. 1. Top of the World: The Corrupting Contours of the Cold War. Ch. 2. Vertigo: The Unhinged Moral Universe of Cold War America -- Pt. 2. Psycho: The Emergence of a Schizoid America in the Age of Anxiety. Ch. 3. Duck and Cover: Civil Defense and Existential Anxiety in America. Ch. 4. The Snake Pit: America as an Asylum. Ch. 5. Wild Ones: Youths in Revolt against Adult America -- Pt. 3. Is God Dead? An American Awakening on the Eve of Destruction. Ch. 6. Time Enough at Last? The Bomb Shelter Craze and the Dawn of America's Moral Awakening. Ch. 7. Laughter and a New Myth of Life: Attacking the Menace of the American System. Ch. 8. Judgment Day: Dr. Strangelove's Cultural Revolution. Ch. 9. Godless Violence and Transcendent Hope: The American Nightmare Exposed and Contained.
Summary Did Dr. Strangelove's America really learn to "stop worrying and love the bomb, " as the title of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film would have us believe? What has that darkly satirical comedy in common with the impassioned rhetoric of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech or with the beat of Elvis Presley's throbbing "I'm All Shook Up"? They all, in Margot Henriksen's vivid depiction of the decades after World War II, are expressions of a cultural revolution directly related to the atomic bomb.
Because there was little organized, extensive protest against nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation until the 1980s, America's overall reaction to the bomb has been seen as acceptance or indifference. Henriksen argues instead that, in spite of the ease with which Cold War exigencies overrode all protests by scientists or others after the end of World War II, America's psyche was split as surely as the atom was split. In opposition to the "culture of consensus, " which never questioned the pursuit of nuclear superiority, a "culture of dissent" was born. Its current of rebellion can be followed through all the forms of popular culture, and Henriksen evokes dozens of illuminating examples from the 1940s, '50s, and '60s.
Subject United States -- Civilization -- 1945-
Cold War -- Social aspects -- United States.
Atomic bomb -- Social aspects -- United States.
Atomic bomb -- Moral and ethical aspects -- United States.
Added Title Doctor Strangelove's America
ISBN 0520083105 alkaline paper
9780520083103 alkaline paper
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