In this original examination of America's post-9/11 culture, journalist Faludi shines a light on the country's psychological response to the attacks of that terrible day. Turning her observational powers on the media, popular culture, and political life, Faludi unearths a barely acknowledged societal drama shot through with baffling contradictions. Why, she asks, did our culture respond to an assault against American global dominance with a frenzied summons to restore "traditional" manhood, marriage, and maternity? Why did we react as if the hijackers had targeted not a commercial and military edifice but the family home and nursery? The answer, she finds, lies in a historical anomaly unique to the American experience: the nation was forged in traumatizing assaults by nonwhite "barbarians" on town and village. That humiliation lies concealed under a myth of cowboy bluster and feminine frailty, which is reanimated whenever threat and shame looms.--From publisher description
Includes bibliographical references (pages 297-338) and index
I: Ontogeny -- We're at war, sweetheart -- The return of Superman -- The cowboys of yesterday -- Perfect virgins of grief -- Nesting nation -- President of the wild frontier -- Precious Little Jessi -- II: Phylogeny -- Original shame -- Heed the mothers -- Here is our father! Now we are safe! -- Touch me not -- Epilogue: What if?