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Preposterous Violence: Fables of Aggression in Modern Culture Hardcover – October 12, 1989

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

An average American four to eight years of age sees 250 war cartoons and 1000 ads for war toys each year. The cartoons have 60 to 80 acts of violence; 30-second commercials, six to eight. Survivors graduate to watch A-Team reruns that have only 40 acts of violence. Twitchell tells us not to worry. St. Augustine said circus violence produced barbarians, but we have survived circuses, gory novels, comic books, and murderous movies. Further, Marxists are wrong to think that violence is orchestrated for ruling-class ends. Barthes is mentioned here, but Foucault, Deleuze, and Derrida, who argue that the mad violence of our time is rooted in deep conceptual structures, are not in Twitchell's bibliography. Apparently, like tribal puberty rites, movie and TV violence serves to initiate the young, and in any case it is what the audience demands. Like the works it describes, this book is grimly entertaining; but could Augustine be right? --Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa, Canada
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author


About the Author:
James B. Twitchell is Alumni Professor of English at the University of Florida. Among his previous books are Dreadful Pleasures: An Anatomy of Modern Horror and Forbidden Partners: The Incest Taboo in Modern Culture.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (October 12, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195058879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195058871
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,871,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book, and is a great resource for anyone attempting to make sense of violence in light of Columbine, modern day video games, etc. I wish every politician that has purported to be an expert and placed blame on one person, institution, media, or wherever would read this book.
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