American Science Fiction--in both literature and film--has played a key role in the portrayal of the fears inherent in the Cold War. The end of this era heralds the need for a reassessment of the literary output of the forty-year period since 1945. Working through a series of key texts, American Science Fiction and the Cold War investigates the political inflections put on American narratives in the post-war decades by Cold War cultural circumstances. Nuclear holocaust, Russian invasion, and the perceived rise of totalitarianism in American society are key elements in the author's exploration of science fiction narratives that include Fahrenheit 451, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Dr. Strangelove.

chapter |13 pages


chapter I|14 pages

Postwar Jeremiads:

Philip Wylie and Leo Szilard

chapter II|12 pages

Variations on a Patriotic Theme:

Robert A. Heinlein

chapter IV|15 pages

Views from the Hearth

chapter V|14 pages

Cultures of Surveillance

chapter VI|12 pages

Take-Over Bids:

Frederik Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth

chapter VII|13 pages

The Russians Have Come

chapter VIII|12 pages

Embodying the Arms Race:

Bernard Wolfe's Limbo

chapter IX|13 pages

The Cold War Computerised

chapter X|13 pages

Conspiracy Narratives

chapter XIII|13 pages

In the Aftermath

chapter XIV|13 pages

The Star Wars Debate