Dangerous Men: The SAS and Popular Culture

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Pluto Press, Aug 1, 1997 - Social Science - 196 pages
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In the popular imagination the Special Air Service Regiment, or SAS, is perceived as both protector and avenger of the Crown and emblematic of staunch British individualism. In Dangerous Men, John Newsinger analyses the recent glut of popular books, magazines and films based on the activities of the SAS and assesses the aggressive masculinity, graphic violence and military prowess that are represented in many of the works, and their use in perpetuating myths of muscle-flexing nationalism. The book is divided into four parts covering the myth of the SAS analysed through historical works, and its representation in personal memoirs, fiction, survival manuals, TV documentaries and Hollywood film. Through the works examined, Newsinger deconstructs a range of real and imagined scenarios in which the SAS are pitted against an array of perceived enemies of the state, including the representation of the its role in the storming of the Iranian Embassy and in conflicts from the Falklands to the Gulf. Among the works examined are the bestselling memoirs by Michael Paul Kennedy, Andy McNab, Peter de la Billiere, Chris Ryan, and Jenny Simpson; fiction by James Follett, Terence Strong, Gerald Seymour and the Soldier A-Z series; key historical accounts by Philip Warner,Tony Geraghty, James Adams, and Mark Urban; and acclaimed films such as Who Dares Wins and The Rock .

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Contents

The Myth of the SAS
5
the SAS as Autobiography
39
Celebrating the SAS
71
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

John Newsinger is lecturer in History and Irish Studies at Bath SpaUniversity. He is the author of Fenianism in Mid-Victorian Britain (Pluto Press, 1994).

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