Fear Itself: Enemies Real and Imagined in American Culture by Nancy Lusignan Editor

By Nancy Lusignan Editor

This assortment includes twenty-seven new essays on American paranoia drawn from more than a few disciplines, together with American reports, movie reports, background, literature, spiritual experiences, and sociology. It’s prepared by way of subject and mostly in chronological order, discover manifestations of worry during the background of the us. forthcoming the subject from various views and methodologies, individuals to the gathering discover theoretical structures of worry, spiritual intolerance in early American tradition, racial discrimination, literary expressions of paranoia, and chilly conflict anxieties, in addition to phobias of the trendy age and concerning the destiny. jointly, those essays conceal subject matters from approximately each interval of U.S. historical past, supplying a amazing photograph of the "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror" that Roosevelt discerned as this sort of paralyzing possibility at the eve of the second one international battle, and which maintains to hang-out American tradition whilst we form our perceptions of the future.

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For the mind, however, labor is insufficient. If the mind is on the verge of losing its capacity to make decisions and exercise its sway over the body, then only "a mode of terror" can restore it to its rightful efficacy. Strength of mind is the crucial quality that the contemplation of terror awakens in the self, for it restores to the individual the capacity for willful action. Danger stimulates the self to a more agitated, alert state of mind, and that state induces the self to think clearly and act decisively.

John Regan's article on the convent burning contributes a new understanding of antebellum culture's uneasiness about girls' boarding schools, which helped spark the violence against the Ursuline convent in Charlestown, Massachusetts. In the closing essay of this section, Elizabeth DeWolfe's study of the perceived threat of the Shakers throughout the antebellum period takes us chronologically to the Civil War. The debate and battle over slavery then overshadowed most of the earlier anxieties surveyed in this section.

Taylor 83 "There Are No Ranks among Us": The Ursuline Convent Riot and the Attack on Sister Mary Ursula Moffatt John Regan 93 "A Very Deep Design at the Bottom": The Shaker Threat, 1780-1860 Elizabeth A. De Wolfe 105 Page viii Part III Fear of the Dark Miscegenation, "Melaleukation," and Public Reception Eve Allegra Raimon 121 "A Shameless Prostitute and a Negro": Miscegenation Fears in the Election of 1872 Amanda Frisken 133 "Absolute Whiteness": Mudsills and Menaces in the World of Madison Grant Matthew Guterl 149 Re-gendering the Enemy: Orientalist Discourse and National Character Studies during World War II Mari Yoshihara 167 Part IV Literary Fears American Agoraphobia: Moby-Dick and the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric of Size Anne Baker 191 Fear of Seduction: The Allure of Alcohol in Late-Nineteenth-Century Temperance Thought Elaine Frantz Parsons 203 Anxious Dwellings: The Rhetoric of Residential Fear in American Realism Adam W.

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