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Imperial benevolence : U.S. foreign policy and American popular culture since 9/11

Author: Scott Laderman; Tim Gruenewald
Publisher: Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2018]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"'We don't seek empires. We're not imperialistic. We never have been. I can't imagine why you'd even ask the question.' So snapped Donald Rumsfeld at a reporter for Al Jazeera in 2003, just weeks after the George W. Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq. While most scholars speak without hesitation about the United States as an imperial power, much of the American public, like the former secretary of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Imperial benevolence.
Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2018]
(DLC) 2018007347
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Scott Laderman; Tim Gruenewald
ISBN: 9780520299184 0520299183 9780520299177 0520299175
OCLC Number: 1023817032
Description: x, 272 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Introduction. Camouflaging empire : imperial benevolence in American popular culture / Scott Laderman --
Imperial cry-faces : women lamenting the war on terror / Rebecca A. Adelman --
"Pro-warrior, but not necessarily pro-war" : American sniper, sheep, and sheepdogs / Edwin A. Martini --
"The first step towards curing the post-war blues is a return to nature" : veterans' outdoor rehabilitation programs and the normalization of empire / David Kieran --
Exceptional soldiers : imagining the privatized military on U.S. TV / Stacy Takacs --
Obama's "just war" : the American hero and just violence in popular TV series / Min Kyung (Mia) Yoo --
Superhero films after 9/11 : mitigating "collateral damage" in the Marvel cinematic universe / Tim Gruenewald --
Humanity's greatest hope : the American ideal in Marvel's The Avengers / Ross Griffin --
The perfect Cold War movie for today : smoke and mirrors in Steven Spielberg's vision of the Cold War / Tony Shaw --
Disfiguring the Americas : representing drugs, violence, and immigration in the age of Trump / Patrick William Kelly --
Black ops diplomacy and the foreign policy of popular culture / Penny M. Von Eschen.
Other Titles: U.S. foreign policy and American popular culture since 9/11
Responsibility: edited by Scott Laderman and Tim Gruenewald.

Abstract:

"'We don't seek empires. We're not imperialistic. We never have been. I can't imagine why you'd even ask the question.' So snapped Donald Rumsfeld at a reporter for Al Jazeera in 2003, just weeks after the George W. Bush administration launched its invasion of Iraq. While most scholars speak without hesitation about the United States as an imperial power, much of the American public, like the former secretary of defense, maintains otherwise. Imperialism is a bad word in the American political lexicon--it's something they do, not us. Millions of Americans prefer to see their government's actions abroad as selfless, benevolent, even divinely inspired. This exceptionalist mentality has deep roots, from the humanitarian objectives ascribed to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century continental expansion to the more recent characterizations of the United States as a global policeman tasked with upholding international norms and laws. Imperial Benevolence examines the ways that American popular culture since 9/11 has broadly presented the United States as a global force for good, a reluctant hegemon working to defend human rights and protect or expand democracy from the barbarians determined to destroy it. While there have been notable exceptions, much of popular culture since 9/11 has assumed American innocence. The United States may occasionally appear a bungler, and there can be rogue elements that attempt to undermine the government's official policies, but the basic goodness that drives American foreign relations--its diplomacy, its military interventions, its people-to-people encounters -- rarely gets challenged."--Provided by publisher.

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"The essayists make a convincing argument for commercially successful popular culture productions contributing to the soft power of U.S. imperialism by underscoring the message that the United States Read more...

 
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