By Peter Swirski
The usa this day is bothered with political alienation, militarized violence, institutionalized poverty, and social anguish. Worst of all, maybe, it really is troubled with power and acute ahistoricism. the US insist on ignoring the context of its current dilemmas. It insists on forgetting what preceded the headlines of at the present time and on denying continuity with background. It insists, in brief, on its exceptionalism.
American Utopia and Social Engineering units out to right this amnesia. It misses no chance to flesh out either the ancient premises and the political offers at the back of the social guidelines and political occasions of the interval. those interdisciplinary issues offer, in flip, the framework for the analyses of works of yankee literature that reflect their instances and mores.
Novels thought of contain: B.F. Skinner and Walden Two (1948), simply the main scandalous utopia of the century, if no longer of all instances; Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962), an anatomy of political disfranchisement American-style; Bernard Malamud’s God’s Grace (1982), a neo-Darwinian beast myth approximately morality within the thermonuclear age; Walker Percy’s The Thanatos Syndrome (1986), a diagnostic novel approximately engineering violence out of America’s streets and minds; and Philip Roth’s The Plot opposed to America (2004), an alternate historical past of homegrown ‘soft’ fascism.
With assistance from the 5 novels and the social versions defined therein, Swirski interrogates key features of sociobiology and behavioural psychology, vote casting and referenda systems, morality and altruism, multilevel choice and proverbial knowledge, violence and chip-implant know-how, and the adaptive position of feelings in our deepest and public lives.
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American Utopia and Social Engineering in Literature, Social Thought, and Political History (Routledge Transnational Perspectives on American Literature) by Peter Swirski