Fathers, Warriors, and Vigilantes

Post-Heroism and the US Cultural Imaginary in the Twenty-First Century

In times of crisis, society turns to its heroes. But what functions do hero figures serve? How are representations of masculinity both symbols and participants within greater cultural struggles over dominance and marginalization? What can heroes tell us about ongoing economic, political, and social debates and transformations in contemporary USA?

Regarding 9/11 as a catalytic rather than a cataclysmic event for US masculinities, this study invites its readers to take a second look at the cultural landscape of heroism in the new millennium. Through readings of contemporary US literature and film centered on the three most controversial heroic figures of our times – fathers, warriors, and vigilantes – this book challenges the thesis of an overall post-9/11 white masculinist backlash. Via the figure of the post-hero, we see shifts in the conceptualization of US individualism in the twenty-first century, displaying growing notions of communality, vulnerability, and class awareness.


Svenja Hohenstein in: Amerikastudien / American Studies, 63.2 (2018)

Katerina Marazi in: European Journal of American Studies, 2016-4 [9], URL: http://ejas.revues.org/11687

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