OVERRIDE

The Terror Dream

Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America

Susan Faludi

Picador

A National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee
 
In this examination of America’s post-9/11 culture, Susan Faludi looks at the country’s psychological response to the attacks on that day. In her observational study of 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 gunslingers, 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 nonwhite "barbarians" on town and village. That humiliation lies concealed under a myth of cowboy bluster and feminine frailty, which is reanimated whenever threat looms.
 
The Terror Dream is also available on CD as an unabridged audiobook. Please email academic@macmillan.com for more information.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One
We’re at War, Sweetheart Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, I had a nightmare. I don’t know how to explain it—I lay no claim to oracular powers. Maybe it was just a coincidental convergence. I dreamed I was sitting in an aisle seat of a commercial airliner. Next to me was another passenger, a woman. A hand jostled my headrest, and I looked up to see two young men bearing down on us. They both held pistols. One put his gun to my neck and shot. Then he shot again. I watched, as if from outside my body, as the first bullet entered at an angle and lodged
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Terror Dream

"This is a book that had to be written, and only Susan Faludi could do it so brilliantly and engrossingly."--Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

"Susan Faludi [is] a relentless reporter, an unapologetic feminist, and a brilliant scourge. . . . Feminism, like a trampoline, has made possible this splendid provocation of a book, levitating to keep company with Hunter Thompson's fear and loathing, Leslie Fielder's love and death, and Edmund Wilson's patriotic gore."--John Leonard, The New York Times Book Review

"Faludi has once again described the pushback, the demand to retain the straitjacketed roles that tell us what a man and a woman should be. With a rigorous insistence on truth, not comforting stories, Faludi proposes we can still awaken from the terror dream."--Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Susan Faludi

  • Susan Faludi is the author of Stiffed and Backlash, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, among other publications. She lives in San Francisco.

  • Susan Faludi Russ Fischella
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Terror Dream

Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America

Susan Faludi

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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