At Stake: Monsters and the Rhetoric of Fear in Public Culture

Paperback | October 30, 2003

byEdward Ingebretsen

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Anyone who watches the evening news is all too familiar with how the word "monster" is used to describe acts of violence. In this book, Edward Ingebretsen sets out to discover what is really at stake when we turn someone into a "monster." The monster, he finds, serves a moralizing function in our culture, making exaggerated examples of particular evildoers in order to reaffirm prevailing standards of behavior and personal conduct.

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Anyone who watches the evening news is all too familiar with how the word "monster" is used to describe acts of violence. In this book, Edward Ingebretsen sets out to discover what is really at stake when we turn someone into a "monster." The monster, he finds, serves a moralizing function in our culture, making exaggerated examples of...

From the Jacket

Anyone who reads the papers or watches the evening news is all too familiar with how variations of the word monster are used to describe unthinkable acts of violence. Jeffrey Dahmer, Timothy McVeigh, and O. J. Simpson were all monsters if we are to believe the mass media. Even Bill Clinton was depicted with the term during the Monica L...

Edward J. Ingebretsen is an associate professor of English and director of American studies at Georgetown University. He is the author of Maps of Heaven, Maps of Hell: Religious Terror as Memory from the Puritans to Stephen King and Robert Frost's Star in a Stone Boat: A Grammar of Belief.

other books by Edward Ingebretsen

Format:PaperbackDimensions:355 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:October 30, 2003Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226380076

ISBN - 13:9780226380070

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue: What the Angle Said
Introduction: Thinking about Monsters

1 Gothic Returns: Haunts and Profits
2 Drive-by Shouting
3 Redressing Andrew: Cunanan's Killing Queerness
4 Susan Smith: When Angels Fall
5 Reading the Starr: Scandal and Auguries
6 Death by Narrative
7 Sacred Monster: Matthew Shepard

Coda: Common Weal, Common Woe
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index