ISBN-10:
1481308823
ISBN-13:
9781481308823
Pub. Date:
07/15/2018
Publisher:
Baylor University Press
ISBN-10:
1481308823
ISBN-13:
9781481308823
Pub. Date:
07/15/2018
Publisher:
Baylor University Press
Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting / Edition 2

Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting / Edition 2

by W. Scott Poole W. Scott Poole
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Overview

Monsters arrived in 2011—and now they are back. Not only do they continue to live in our midst, but, as historian Scott Poole shows, these monsters are an important part of our past—a hideous obsession America cannot seem to escape.

Poole’s central argument in Monsters in America is that monster tales intertwine with America’s troubled history of racism, politics, class struggle, and gender inequality. The second edition of Monsters leads readers deeper into America’s tangled past to show how monsters continue to haunt contemporary American ideology.

By adding new discussions of the American West, Poole focuses intently on the Native American experience. He reveals how monster stories went west to Sand Creek and Wounded Knee, bringing the preoccupation with monsters into the twentieth century through the American Indian Movement. In his new preface and expanded conclusion, Poole’s tale connects to the present—illustrating the relationship between current social movements and their historical antecedents. This proven textbook also studies the social location of contemporary horror films, exploring, for example, how Get Out emerged from the context of the Black Lives Matter movement. Finally, in the new section "American Carnage," Poole challenges readers to assess what their own monster tales might be and how our sordid past horrors express themselves in our present cultural anxieties.

By the end of the book, Poole cautions that America’s monsters aren’t going away anytime soon. If specters of the past still haunt our present, they may yet invade our future. Monsters are here to stay.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481308823
Publisher: Baylor University Press
Publication date: 07/15/2018
Edition description: second edition
Pages: 335
Sales rank: 291,516
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

W. Scott Poole is Professor of History at the College of Charleston, where he teaches courses on monsters, pop culture, and American history. He is the author of several books, including a biography of H.P Lovecraft, which became a Bram Stoker award finalist, and Wasteland: The Great War and the Origins of Modern Horror. You can find more scary stories from him on Twitter: @monstersamerica.

Read an Excerpt

"The American past reads like something of a horror movie, maybe even a low-budget slasher. American history comes at us dripping with gore, victims lying scattered on the ground, eldritch moonlight revealing creeping horrors you never learned from your eighth grade history textbook. The history of the United States offers a chamber of horrors, with clergy transforming the Native American other into demonic beings, mad scientists turning state-funded laboratories into torture chambers, and the photographic revolution of the Victorian era turning toward a morbid fascination with the bodies of the dead and the creation of the category of 'gore.' History is horror."

—excerpted from the Introduction

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Bloody Chords of Memory

1. Monstrous Beginnings

2. Goth Americana

3. Weird Science

4. Alien Invasions

5. Deviant Bodies

6. Haunted Houses

7. Undead Americans

What People are Saying About This

Poole brings to life American horror stories by framing them within folk belief, religion, and popular culture, broadly unraveling the idea of the monster. Thanks to Poole's insights we see the ubiquity of the monster lurking in and around us.

Jonathan Maberry

With Monsters in America, W. Scott Poole has given us a guidebook for a journey into nightmare territory. Insightful and brilliant!

J. Gordon Melton

An unexpected guilty pleasure! Poole invites us into an important and enlightening, if disturbing, conversation about the very real monsters that inhabit the dark spaces of America's past.

Kendall R. Phillips

In Monsters in America, Scott Poole expertly weaves together folklore, media studies, and some of the more disturbing moments in American history to remind us of the vital roles monsters play in our culture. The new edition extends this analysis to shed light on some of the darker developments in recent American political culture. From early American ghost stories to Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017), Scott Poole expertly tracks the importance of monsters and monstrosity in American culture.

Greg Garrett

Monsters in America does a bang-up job of demonstrating how our culture helps us achieve some sort of understanding about our world and our lives. Poole's examples are well-chosen and well-explicated. It is a frightening world we live in, yet the horrific things in our literature and culture play a vital part in helping us reach some understanding, and even some peace about them.

John W. Morehead

Poole's connection of the monster to American history is a kind of Creature Features meets American cultural history. Here we not only meet such monsters but also discover America's cultural monstrosity.

Gary Laderman

A well informed, thoughtful, and indeed frightening angle of vision to a persistent and compelling American desire to be entertained by the grotesque and the horrific.

John David Smith

Poole brings to life American horror stories by framing them within folk belief, religion, and popular culture, broadly unraveling the idea of the monster. Thanks to Poole's insights we see the ubiquity of the monster lurking in and around us.

Preface

"The American past reads like something of a horror movie, maybe even a low-budget slasher. American history comes at us dripping with gore, victims lying scattered on the ground, eldritch moonlight revealing creeping horrors you never learned from your eighth grade history textbook. The history of the United States offers a chamber of horrors, with clergy transforming the Native American other into demonic beings, mad scientists turning state-funded laboratories into torture chambers, and the photographic revolution of the Victorian era turning toward a morbid fascination with the bodies of the dead and the creation of the category of 'gore.' History is horror."

—excerpted from the Introduction

Customer Reviews