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The Terror Dream

The Terror Dream

Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America

Susan Faludi



It has become clear over the years that the reaction of America's politicians and media to the attacks of 9/11 was bizarrely misdirected and dangerous to our national security. But no one has fully probed its cultural roots. Until now. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Susan Faludi brilliantly demonstrates how our culture's seemingly inexplicable response was actually a reflex set centuries deep in the American grain. Her analysis of what went on in the months and years after 9/11 will shock even those who thought they knew the full measure of that tragedy (as her account of the post-9/11 media marketing of flight-suit superheroes, cowering "security moms," Jessica-Lynchesque helpless "girls," and Daniel Boone–wannabe politicians will outrage and amuse).

A masterwork of historical interpretation and a Rosetta stone for deciphering the ongoing spectacle of American politics, journalism, and culture, The Terror Dream flushes from hiding a forceful dynamic that disfigures our lives even in times of normalcy, and that, unless it is confronted, will send us reeling in a wrong direction the next time tragedy strikes.

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...

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

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.

image of Susan Faludio
Russ Fischella

Susan Faludi

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