Monsters, Mushroom Clouds, and the Cold War: American Science Fiction and the Roots of Postmodernism, 1946-1964

Synopsis

Surveying a wide range of major science fiction novels and films, this book focuses on the long 1950s--the period from 1946 to 1964--when the tensions of the Cold War were at their peak. It demonstrates that these works reflect their historical and political contexts through a consistent concern with such phenomena as alienation and routinization, which Marxist critics have seen as central consequences of capitalism. Through its engagement with such issues, American science fiction of this period reflects the growing hegemony of capitalist ideology and consequently demonstrates the beginnings of postmodernism as a major American cultural phenomenon.