Dangerous Men

Dangerous Men : SAS and Popular Culture

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The British soldier-hero has frequently been portrayed in literature as the quintessential figure of masculinity. In recent years however, a new brand of all-male hero has begun to usurp him. The author of this text argues that this character, based on Britain's SAS soldier, is different from its precursors. In the popular imagination, the SAS is perceived as both protector and avenger of the Crown and emblematic of staunch British individualism. Analyzing the glut of fiction, memoirs, videos and film based on the activities of the SAS - in which writers with "inside information", and SAS personnel themselves, extol the virtues of the Service through images of aggressive masculinity and muscular nationalism, graphic violence and military prowess - the author assesses this representation and its use in perpetuating myths of muscle-flexing nationalism. Scenarios in which the SAS are pitted against an array of perceived enemies of the state - from international terrorists to the peace movement - are deconstructed, as is the representation of its role in the storming of the Iranian Embassy, and in conflicts from the Falklands to the Gulf.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 196 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 17.27mm | 343g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • index
  • 0745312160
  • 9780745312163

About John Newsinger

John Newsinger is lecturer in History and Irish Studies at Bath Spa University. He is the author of numerous articles on Irish history.show more

Review quote

'A clear-headed critique of the SAS cult ... an incisive challenge to the mindless worship of 'the Regiment' --Boyd Tonkin, Independent 'A clear-headed critique of the SAS cult ... an incisive challenge to the mindless worship of 'the Regiment' --Boyd Tonkin, Independentshow more

Table of contents

Enter the SAS - the siege at the Iranian Embassy; soldier heroes - popular imagination and the SAS; the myth of the SAS - its widespread influence; the SAS as autobiography - SAS memoirs; the SAS as fiction - the construction of masculinity; celebrating the SAS - looking at various histories, Special Forces magazines, the SAS as fashion, murderous chic; the SAS as film, TV, videos; the future of the SAS as military security.show more

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