Fixed Ideas: America Since 9.11

Front Cover
New York Review of Books, 2003 - History - 44 pages
2 Reviews

In Fixed Ideas Joan Didion describes how, since September 11, 2001, there has been a determined effort by the administration to promote an imperial America--a "New Unilateralism"--and how, in many parts of America, there is now a "disconnect" between the government and citizens.

 

"[Americans] recognized even then [immediately after 9/11], with flames still visible in lower Manhattan, that the words 'bipartisanship' and 'national unity' had come to mean acquiescence to the administration's preexisting agenda--for example the imperative for further tax cuts, the necessity for Arctic drilling, the systematic elimination of regulatory and union protections, even the funding for the missile shield."

 

Frank Rich in his preface notes: "The reassuring point of the fixed ideas was to suppress other ideas that might prompt questions or fears about either the logic or hidden political agendas of those conducting what CNN branded as 'America's New War.'"

 

He adds, "This White House is famously secretive and on-message, but its skills go beyond that. It knows the power of narrative, especially a single narrative with clear-cut heroes and evildoers, and it knows how to drown out any distracting subplots before they undermine the main story."

 

Book and cover design by Milton Glaser, Inc.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ntempest - LibraryThing

I think 9/11 made me political in a way nothing could possibly have done before. It's part being a New Yorker, part having worked in finance at the time of the attacks, and many other things. It ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ronsea - LibraryThing

Typical Didion style. Complex ideas and relationships between ideas with perfect prose. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
19
Section 3
32
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

The New Policing
Eugene McLaughlin
Limited preview - 2006

About the author (2003)

Born in Sacramento, California, on December 5, 1934, Joan Didion received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1956. She wrote for Vogue from 1956 to 1963, and was visiting regent's lecturer in English at the University of California, Berkeley in 1976. Didion also published novels, short stories, social commentary, and essays. Her work often comments on social disorder. Didion wrote for years on her native California; from there her perspective broadened and turned to the countries of Central America and Southeast Asia. Her novels include Democracy (1984) and The Last Thing He Wanted (1996). Well known nonfiction titles include Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968), The White Album (1979), The Year of Magical Thinking (2005) and Blue Nights (2011). In 1971 Joan Didion was nominated for the National Book Award in fiction for Play It As It Lays. In 1981 she received the American Book Award in nonfiction, and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Prize in nonfiction for The White Album. Didion has received a great deal of recognition for The Year of Magical Thinking, which was awarded the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2005. In 2007, Didion received the National Book Foundation's annual Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2009, Didion was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Harvard University. On July 3, 2013 the White House announced Didion was one of the recipients of the National Medals of Arts and Humanities presented by President Barack Obama.