Spaceships and Politics

Spaceships and Politics : The Political Theory of Rod Serling

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Spaceships and Politics: The Political Theory of Rod Serling examines the political themes in The Twilight Zone. In this unique show, Rod Serling used fantasy and the supernatural to explore political ideas such as capital punishment, the individual and the state, war, conformity, the state of nature, prejudice, and alienation. He used aliens and machines to understand human nature. This book looks at Serling's mechanistic view of the world and emphasis on fear through Hobbesian themes like diffidence and automata.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 149.86 x 223.52 x 17.78mm | 294.83g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073912045X
  • 9780739120453

Table of contents

1 Acknowledgments 2 Introduction Chapter 3 1 Human Nature 4 The state of nature-Hobbesian roots 5 Fear 6 Greed 7 Glory 8 Competition and Belligerence 9 State of Nature- Rousseau 10 To Serve Man Chapter 11 2 The Individual and the State 12 Conformity 13 Capital punishment 14 Justice and the law 15 War 16 Does size matter Chapter 17 3 Fascism and Modernity 18 Automata- I Sing the Body Electric 19 The Bandshell and the swimming pool 20 Fascism and Dictatorship 21 The Cold War 22 Prejudice 23 Nuclear war 24 Alienation Chapter 25 4 Magic and Optimism 26 Magic 27 The Allegory of the cave 28 Conclusion
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Review quote

The marriage of science fiction and political theory is a long and complex one, but it has seldom been laid out in such detail and with as much analytical smarts as in Professor Feldman's study of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone. Both fans of this popular series and students of political theory will find much here about their main interest while learning new ways to think and talk about it. I was particularly struck by the great variety of examples of alienation in Serling's work cast in the light of Marx's theory of alienation. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. -- Bertell Ollman, NYU, Author of Alienation: Marx's Conception of Man in Capitalist Society More than a study of Rod Serling's Hobbesian political theory, Spaceships and Politics is an encounter with political theory's fundamental questions via the ultimate Cold War television series, The Twilight Zone. Clear writing and engaging episode summaries make this book invaluable for anyone interested in reflecting on inhumanity, fear, loneliness, and the persistence of hope. A great choice for classroom use. -- Jodi Dean, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Spaceships and Politics: The Political Theory of Rod Serling packs in a fine examination of the political themes in The Twilight Zone...His use of aliens to understand the human psyche made for an original, contemplative show analyzed here in a fine general survey perfect for science fiction and general collections alike. Midwest Book Review
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About Leslie Dale Feldman

Leslie Dale Feldman is professor of political science at Hofstra University.
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