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Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting (Paperback)
  • Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting (Paperback)
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Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting (Paperback)

(author)
£26.99
Paperback 295 Pages / Published: 15/01/2014
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Salem witches, frontier wilderness beasts, freak show oddities, alien invasions, Freddie Krueger. From our colonial past to the present, the monster in all its various forms has been a staple of American culture. A masterful survey of our grim and often disturbing past, Monsters in America uniquely brings together history and culture studies to expose the dark obsessions that have helped create our national identity.Monsters are not just fears of the individual psyche, historian Scott Poole explains, but are concoctions of the public imagination, reactions to cultural influences, social change, and historical events. Conflicting anxieties about race, class, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, science, and politics manifest as haunting beings among the populace. From Victorian-era mad scientists to modern-day serial killers , new monsters appear as American society evolves, paralleling fluctuating challenges to the cultural status quo. Consulting newspaper accounts, archival materials, personal papers, comic books, films, and oral histories, Poole adroitly illustrates how the creation of the monstrous "other" not only reflects society's fears but shapes actual historical behavior and becomes a cultural reminder of inhuman acts.

Publisher: Baylor University Press
ISBN: 9781602584662
Number of pages: 295
Weight: 414 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"A well informed, thoughtful, and indeed frightening angle of vision to a persistent and compelling American desire to be entertained by the grotesque and the horrific." --Gary Laderman, Professor of American Religious History and Cultures, Emory University
"Poole brings to life American horror stories by framing them within folk belief, religion, and popular culture, broadly unraveling the idea of the monster. Thanks to Poole's insights we see the ubiquity of the monster lurking in and around us." --John David Smith, Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
... one of the best reads of the year. -- Dave Canfield -- Fangoria
From 19th century sea serpents to our current Publishers Weekly session with vampires and zombies,... Poole plots America's past through its fears in this intriguing... sociocultural history. -- Publishers Weekly
Poole... has set the bar ridiculously high for any future research exploring the locus of historical and cultural studies, particularly as it pertains to the horrific.... Monsters In America challenges, enlightens, and, quite honestly, frightens in its prescient view of American history, as well as the seeming ubiquity of the monsters of our past and probable future. -- The Crawlspace

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