Death's Dream Kingdom

Death's Dream Kingdom : The American Psyche Since 9-11

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Why is fear a dominant emotion in contemporary society? Why are politicians using words like 'terror', 'evil' and 'fundamentalism', and what effect is it having on public consciousness?This book taps into the cultural psyche to explore the link between ideology and emotional and psychological manipulation. It shows that the Bush administration has been hugely successful in controlling and developing a new political climate through the creation of an almost hypnotic mass consciousness. From the sado-masochist hysteria of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ' to the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison; and from the genocidal use of depleted uranium in Iraq to the apocalyptic language driving the Christian Right's assault on basic human rights.Davis's findings take us to the heart of the ideological paralysis of the Left, while offering an innovative approach to understanding contemporary history.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 132.1 x 210.8 x 20.3mm | 272.16g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745324681
  • 9780745324685
  • 1,802,589

Review quote

'The most important contribution of this wide-ranging book is its redefinition of ideology: Davis argues that ideology is not so much a matter of what you believe as why you believe it. [An] important book' -- Eugene Holland, Ohio State University 'An unsettling book, passionately and lovingly crafted by a superb and unique writer and thinker' -- Counterpunch 'What strikes me about this book is the utter originality. [Davis] has developed a distinctive voice that manages to talk about the densest theoretical concepts in the most approachable language imaginable' -- Todd McGowan 'It spans social and psychological dimensions with unflinching willingness to speak the truth as the author discovers it. Davis writes with fervor, vision, and keen moral appreciation of our condition. He encourages us to see what we fear to see, to say what we fear to say. This book is illuminating, challenging, fierce' -- Michael Eigen, author of The Sensitive Self, Rage, Ecstasy, Toxic Nourishment, Damaged Bonds, andThe Psychoanalytic Mystic.
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About Walter A. Davis

Walter A. Davis is Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at Ohio State University. He is the author of six previous books, including Inwardness and Existence: Subjectivity in/and Hegel, Heidegger, Marx and Freud (University of Wisconsin Press, 1989) and Deracination: Historicity, Hiroshima, and the Tragic Imperative (SUNY Press, 2001).
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Table of contents

Preface: The Way We Were


1. 911- America

2. Living in Death's Dream Kingdom: The Psychotic Core of Capitalist Ideology

3. Passion of the Christ in Abu Ghraib

4. Weapons of Mass Destruction Found in Iraq

5. A Humanistic Response to 9-11: Robert Jay Lifton, or the Nostalgia for Guarantees

6. A Postmodernist Response to 9-11: Slavoj Zizek, or the Jouissance of an Abstract Hegelian


7. Bible Says: The Psychology of Christian Fundamentalism

8. The Psychodynamics of Terror

9. Evil: As Psychological Process and as Philosophic Concept

10. Men of Good Will: Toward an Ethic of the Tragic



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Rating details

9 ratings
4.44 out of 5 stars
5 67% (6)
4 11% (1)
3 22% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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