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War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- University of Massachusetts Press
In this new and expanded edition of an already classic work, H. Bruce Franklin brings the epic story of the superweapon and the American imagination into the ominous twenty-first century, demonstrating its continuing importance both to comprehending our current predicament and to finding ways to escape from it.
Sweeping through two centuries of American culture and military history, Franklin traces the evolution of superweapons from Robert Fulton's eighteenth-century submarine through the strategic bomber, atomic bomb, and Star Wars to a twenty-first century dominated by "weapons of mass destruction," real and imagined. Interweaving culture, science, technology, and history, he shows how and why the American pursuit of the ultimate defensive weapon -- guaranteed to end all war and bring universal triumph to American ideals -- has led our nation and the world into an epoch of terror and endless war.
University of Massachusetts Press
|Publisher:||University of Massachusetts Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments to the First Edition ix
Preface to the Revised and Expanded Edition xi
Introduction: Imaging Our Weapons 3
Beyond Manifest Destiny
Robert Fulton and the Weapons of Progress 9
Fantasies of War: 1880-1917 19
Thomas Edison and the Industrialization of War 54
Victory through Air Power
Peace Is Our Profession 81
Billy Mitchell and the Romance of the Bomber 91
The Triumph of the Bombers 101
The Final Catch 112
Don't Worry, It's Only Science Fiction 131
Atomic Decision 149
The Rise of Nuclear Culture 155
The Baruch Plan: American Science Fiction 162
Nuclear Scenarios 166
Early Warnings 170
Triumphs of Nuclear Culture 180
Exit Strategies 191
Star Wars 200
The Age of the Automatons 206
The End! 213
Pax Americana; Or, The Superweapon and the Twenty-first-Century American Imagination
The Science-Fiction Project for the New American Century 217
Mushroom Cloud Over Cincinnati; Or, The Terrorized Empire 221
The New AmericanCentury; Or, The Age of Terror 224
The Unimaginable 231
Bibliography of Fiction Discussed 253
What People are Saying About This
In this carefully researched and revealing inquiry into American cultural history, Bruce Franklin brings to light themes of great significance. One is the fear that we are about to be destroyed, and at the last minute are saved, miraculously, by a superweapon or superhero. More ominously, in his words, 'the American imperial eagle' commonly turns out to be 'a bird that habitually views its own behavior as "defense" against its prey.' Unless this pathology is understood and overcome, it will continue to cause great harm, which we will not escape.
A marvelous study that weaves together some of the most important developments in US military history, a survey of popular literature, and an overview of American culture.... The story of America's conversion to belief in the efficacy of air power... is told better here than anywhere else. No source provides so profound a historical perspective.
A searing and penetrating history of the American obsession with finding a technology that will end wars forever -- and our conviction that, unlike other nations, we can be trusted not to misuse weapons of mass annihilation. Its analysis of American fiction and films provides a new dimension to the subject.
War Stars is so crammed with fascinating facts and ideas that it should interest people of all political persuasions. It should be required reading.
In War Stars, H. Bruce Franklin writes American history from a new angle. It astonished me -- but it was totally convincing throughout.
War Stars, a penetrating and often disturbing study of why we create superweapons in the pursuit of 'security and peace,' places our culture on the analyst's couch.