Cookies on oxfam

We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our website. If you continue browsing, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all our cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Close

  • Grows vegetables
  • Fills classrooms
  • Drills wells
  • Empowers women
  • Fights poverty

The Culture of Calamity : Disaster & The Making of Modern America

£10.99

Product description

Turn on the news and it looks as if we live in a time and place unusually consumed by the specter of disaster. The events of 9/11 and the promise of future attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans, and the inevitable consequences of environmental devastation all contribute to an atmosphere of imminent doom. But reading an account of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, with its vivid evocation of buildings "crumbling as one might crush a biscuit," we see that calamities-whether natural or man-made-have long had an impact on the American consciousness. Uncovering the history of Americans' responses to disaster from their colonial past up to the present, Kevin Rozario reveals the vital role that calamity-and our abiding fascination with it-has played in the development of this nation. Beginning with the Puritan view of disaster as God's instrument of correction, Rozario explores how catastrophic events frequently inspired positive reactions. He argues that they have shaped American life by providing an opportunity to take stock of our values and social institutions. Destruction leads naturally to rebuilding, and here we learn that disasters have been a boon to capitalism, and, paradoxically, indispensable to the construction of dominant American ideas of progress. As Rozario turns to the present, he finds that the impulse to respond creatively to disasters is mitigated by a mania for security. Terror alerts and duct tape represent the cynical politician's attitude about 9/11, but Rozario focuses on how the attacks registered in the popular imagination-how responses to genuine calamity were mediated by the hyperreal thrills of movies; how apocalyptic literature, like the best-selling Left Behind series, recycles Puritan religious outlooks while adopting Hollywood's style; and how the convergence of these two ways of imagining disaster points to a new postmodern culture of calamity. The Culture of Calamity will stand as the definitive diagnosis of the peculiarly American addiction to the spectacle of destruction.

Item details

Author(s):
Kevin Rozario
Condition:
Used: very good
Format:
Hardback
ISBN-10:
0226725707
ISBN-13:
9780226725703
Number of pages:
0
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press

Standard UK Delivery £3.95 per order

Delivery FAQs

Free returns

within 21 days.
Returns policy

About this item

Turn on the news and it looks as if we live in a time and place unusually consumed by the specter of disaster. The events of 9/11 and the promise of future attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans, and the inevitable consequences of environmental devastation all contribute to an atmosphere of imminent doom. But reading an account of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, with its vivid evocation of buildings "crumbling as one might crush a biscuit," we see that calamities-whether natural or man-made-have long had an impact on the American consciousness. Uncovering the history of Americans' responses to disaster from their colonial past up to the present, Kevin Rozario reveals the vital role that calamity-and our abiding fascination with it-has played in the development of this nation. Beginning with the Puritan view of disaster as God's instrument of correction, Rozario explores how catastrophic events frequently inspired positive reactions. He argues that they have shaped American life by providing an opportunity to take stock of our values and social institutions. Destruction leads naturally to rebuilding, and here we learn that disasters have been a boon to capitalism, and, paradoxically, indispensable to the construction of dominant American ideas of progress. As Rozario turns to the present, he finds that the impulse to respond creatively to disasters is mitigated by a mania for security. Terror alerts and duct tape represent the cynical politician's attitude about 9/11, but Rozario focuses on how the attacks registered in the popular imagination-how responses to genuine calamity were mediated by the hyperreal thrills of movies; how apocalyptic literature, like the best-selling Left Behind series, recycles Puritan religious outlooks while adopting Hollywood's style; and how the convergence of these two ways of imagining disaster points to a new postmodern culture of calamity. The Culture of Calamity will stand as the definitive diagnosis of the peculiarly American addiction to the spectacle of destruction.

Author(s):
Kevin Rozario
Condition:
Used: very good
Format:
Hardback
ISBN-10:
0226725707
ISBN-13:
9780226725703
Number of pages:
0
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press

Delivery & returns

This item will be dispatched to UK addresses via second class post within 2 working days of receipt of your order. Standard UK delivery is £3.95 per order, so you're only charged once no matter how many items you have in your basket. Any additional courier charges will be applied at checkout as they vary depending on delivery address.

You can find out more about delivery and returns in our help section.

We offer a no quibble returns policy as follows:

Wedding dresses: 14 days

Overseas returns: 31 days

Everything else: 21 days


This item is also available for international delivery by airmail, carrying a mandatory delivery charge of:

Europe: £8.00

Outside Europe: £15.00

Volunteer listed

Wonder how this unique item ended up online?

Most of the second-hand items you see online have been donated, by supporters like you, to our high street stores. Each item is then priced, photographed and listed on this site by our amazing team of volunteers from across the country.

After you have bought your item, our team of volunteers package and dispatch it from the Shop straight to you or your chosen recipient.

All profits from the sales of our goods go towards funding Oxfam's work around the world. We rely on your donations to sell online so please keep the cycle of goodness going!

To find out more about volunteering with Oxfam, please visit our how to volunteer page.

Oxfam Bookshop Hertford

Oxfam is the UK's largest second hand bookseller, but it doesn't stop there. We sell a great range of donated music as well. Whether it's vintage LPs or the latest modern fiction you want, we're well worth a look! We also offer a range of greetings cards for birthday and other occasions. Call us to find out more.

Could you help us by collecting donations from donors homes? Our shop receives many offers of generous donations that we have to turn down as we do not have volunteers able to collect. We would ask you to collect in your own car, at your convenience and reimburse your petrol costs. It might be a couple of times a month and would make a really big difference to our ability to make money.

View Shop