In this most original examination of America's post-9/11 culture, Susan Faludi shines a light on the psychological response to the attacks on that terrible day. Turning her acute observational powers on the media, popular culture, and political life, Faludi unearths a societal drama shot through with baffling contradictions. Why, she asks, did Americans respond to an assault against American global dominance with a frenzied summons to restore 'traditional' manhood, marriage, and maternity? Why did they 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 them to a regressive fixation on 'Doris Day' womanhood and 'John Wayne' masculinity, with trembling 'security moms', swaggering presidential gunslingers, and the 'rescue' of a female soldier, Jessica Lynch, cast as a 'helpless little girl'?The answer, Faludi finds, lies in a uniquely American historical anomaly: the nation that in recent memory has been least vulnerable to domestic attack was forged in traumatizing assaults by nonwhite '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."The Terror Dream" is a brilliant and important new look at what 9/11 revealed about America.
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