In the Shadow of the Bomb

The Legacy of the Cold War in Dr. Strangelove, End Zone, Crash and The Wire

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About the Book

Detective McNulty applies bite marks to a deceased man’s body with a set of dentures in The Wire, illustrating how officialdom deals in falsehood. Dr. Strangelove lovingly describes the “doomsday machine” as being free from “human meddling,” while it destroys the world, highlighting the absurdity of placing systems above any moral considerations. In Crash, Ballard survives a car accident only to be cared for by a paternal technology that tends only to his physical needs—a life of technical certitude bereft of beauty. The Cold War, with its promise of imminent and purposeless doom, profoundly shaped the post-modern world in ways that are not yet appreciated. This study examines the Cold War zeitgeist and its aftermath as shown in fiction, film and television.

About the Author(s)

Niall Heffernan is a writer, researcher and teacher at University College Cork in Ireland. He teaches on American literature, film and culture, contemporary literature and dystopian fiction.

Bibliographic Details

Niall Heffernan

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 209
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6466-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3041-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: The Cold War, a Forge for Capitalist Technocracy 5
I. Dr. Strangelove: The Secular Apocalypse and Its Technical Imperative 35
II. End Zone and Crash: Hollow Creeds and Monstrous Rituals 68
III. The Wire and Game Theory: “All in the Game” 123
Conclusion: Imagination Is Irrationality 174
Chapter Notes 183
Bibliography 189
Index 197