Deconstructing Dr. Strangelove

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Deconstructing Dr. Strangelove

The Secret History of Nuclear War Films

512 pages
40 images

eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

July 2020

978-1-64012-351-9

$50.00 Add to Cart
Hardcover

July 2020

978-1-64012-192-8

$50.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

July 2020

978-1-64012-349-6

$50.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

King of the Cold War crisis film, Dr. Strangelove became a cultural touchstone from the moment of its release in 1964. The duck-and-cover generation saw it as a satire on nuclear issues and Cold War thinking. Subsequent generations, removed from the film’s historical moment, came to view it as a quasi-documentary about an unfathomable secret world.

Sean M. Maloney uses Dr. Strangelove and other genre classics like Fail Safe and The Bedford Incident to investigate a curious pop cultural contradiction. Nuclear crisis films repeatedly portrayed the failures of the Cold War’s deterrent system. Yet the system worked. What does this inconsistency tell us about the genre? What does it tell us about the deterrent system, for that matter?

Blending film analysis with Cold War history, Maloney looks at how the celluloid crises stack up against reality—or at least as much of reality as we can reconstruct from these films with confidence. The result is a daring intellectual foray that casts new light on Dr. Strangelove, one of the Cold War era’s defining films.
 
 

Author Bio

Sean M. Maloney is a professor of history at Royal Military College and served as the Canadian Army’s historian for the war in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2014. He is the author of Enduring the Freedom: A Rogue Historian in Afghanistan (Potomac Books, 2005), Learning to Love the Bomb: Canada’s Nuclear Weapons during the Cold War (Potomac Books, 2007), and Operation Kinetic: Stabilizing Kosovo (Potomac Books, 2018).
 

Praise

“In his introduction, Sean Maloney writes: ‘The further we get away from those dangerous years, the more art takes over from life, history, and reality.’ These words set the stage for his detailed and factual account, validated by meticulous research, of an era as experienced by this Cold War Strategic Air Command veteran.”—Lt. Col. Earl J. McGill, USAF (Ret.), author of Jet Age Man: SAC B-47 and B-52 Operations in the Early Cold War

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