American Science Fiction and the Cold War: Literature and Film

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Edinburgh University Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 216 pages
American Science Fiction - in both literature and film - has played a key role in the portrayal of the fears inherent in the Cold War. The end of this era heralds the need for a reassessment of the literary output of the forty-year period since 1945. Working through a series of important texts, David Seed investigates the political inflexions put on American narratives in the post-war decades by Cold War cultural circumstances. Nuclear holocaust, Russian invasion, and the perceived rise of totalitarianism in American society are key elements in the author'sexploration of science fiction narratives which include Fahrenheit 451, Invasion of the Body Snatchersand Dr Strangelove. Written in a lively and engaging style, the author's approach draws on the significant body of Nuclear Criticism and the historicism of Hayden White and others in order to bring out the ideological tensions and urgencies in this fiction. Relating the theory to a range of popular novels, stories and films makes this book accessible to students, academics and general readers alike.

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Contents

Philip Wylie and Leo Szilard
14
Robert A Heinlein
28
History and Apocalypse in Poul Anderson
40
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

David Seed is Reader in the Department of English at the University of Liverpool.

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