America Noir

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2010-06-22
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Books
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $24.95 Save up to $3.74
  • Buy New


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


InAmerica NoirDavid Cochran details how ten writers and filmmakers challenged the social pieties prevalent during the Cold War, such as the superiority of the American democracy, the benevolence of free enterprise, and the sanctity of the suburban family. Rod Sterling'sThe Twilight Zonefeatured victims of vast, faceless, bureaucratic powers. Jim Thompson's noir thrillers, such asThe Grifters, portrayed the ravages of capitalism on those at the bottom of the social ladder. Patricia Highsmith, inThe Talented Mr. Ripley, placed an amoral con man in an international setting, implicitly questioning America's fitness as leader of the free world. Charles Willeford's pulp novels, such asWild WivesandWoman Chaser, depicted the family as a hotbed of violence and chaos. These artists pioneered a detached, ironic sensibility that radically juxtaposed cultural references and blurred the distinctions between "high" and "low" art. Their refusal to surrender to the pressures for political conformity and their unflinching portrayal of the underside of American life paved the way for the emergence of a 1960s counterculture that forever changed the way America views itself.

Author Biography

David Cochran earned his PhD in American history from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He currently teaches at John A. Logan College and lives with his wife, three children, and four cats in Herrin, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Preface: Mapping the Underground Culturep. xi
Introduction: Within the Shell of the Old: The Creation of the Cold War Consensus and the Emergence of the Underground Culturep. 1
The Killer inside Me: Roman Noir Authorsp. 17
Slipping Deeper into Hell: Jim Thompson's Theology of Absurdityp. 19
"It's Always for Nothing": The Paperback Worldview of Charles Willefordp. 39
Progress and Its Discontents: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authorsp. 53
"I'm Being Ironic": Imperialism, Mass Culture, and the Fantastic World of Ray Bradburyp. 55
The Devil and Charles Beaumontp. 73
Outside Looking In: Minority Artistsp. 89
"So Much Nonsense Must Make Sense": The Black Vision of Chester Himesp. 91
"Some Torture That Perversely Eased": Patricia Highsmith and the Everyday Schizophrenia of American Lifep. 114
Little Shop of Horrors: Independent Filmmakersp. 131
"Lots of Socko": The Independent Cinematic Vision of Samuel Fullerp. 133
Roger Corman's Low-Budget Modernismp. 151
Cracks in the Consensus: Liberal Artistsp. 173
Richard Condon and the Paranoid Surreal Style in American Politicsp. 175
Another Dimension: Rod Serling, Consensus Liberalism, and The Twilight Zonep. 194
Conclusion: The Emancipation of Dissonancep. 215
Notesp. 223
Bibliographyp. 261
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review