Publisher description for America's culture of terrorism : violence, capitalism, and the written word / Jeffory A. Clymer.


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Counter Although the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 shocked the world, America has in fact confronted terrorism for well over a century. With the invention of dynamite in 1866, Americans began to worry about anonymous acts of mass violence in a way that differed from previous generations' fears of urban riots, slave uprisings, and mob violence. Focusing on the volatile period between the 1886 Haymarket bombing and the 1920 bombing outside J. P. Morgan's Wall Street office, Jeffory A. Clymer argues that economic and cultural displacements caused by the expansion of industrial capitalism during the period directly influenced evolving ideas about terrorism.

In America's Culture of Terrorism, Clymer uncovers the roots of American terrorism and its impact on American identity by exploring the literary works of Henry James, Ida B. Wells, Jack London, Thomas Dixon, and Covington Hall, as well as trial transcripts, media reports, and cultural rhetoric surrounding terrorist acts of the day. He demonstrates that the rise of mass media and the pressures of the industrial wage-labor economy both fueled the development of terrorism and shaped society's response to it. His analysis not only sheds new light on American literature and culture a century ago but also offers insights into the contemporary understanding of terrorism.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Terrorism United States History, Violence United States History, Capitalism United States History, Mass media United States History, United States Social conditions