What Have They Built You to Do?
The Manchurian Candidate and Cold War America
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What Have They Built You to Do? by Matthew Frye Jacobson
Book DescriptionConsidered by many to be the best political thriller ever made, The Manchurian Candidate is as entertaining, troubling, and relevant today as it was in 1962. Starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, and Angela Lansbury, and directed with probing insight by John Frankenheimer, the film was widely acclaimed as a masterpiece. Largely out of circulation for the next two decades, it acquired a well-deserved cult following until it was rereleased during the last year of the Reagan presidency, when its pointed satire of political and media manipulation seemed more timely than ever. In What Have They Built You to Do? a key line of dialogue from the original film Matthew Frye Jacobson and Gaspar Gonzalez undertake an ambitious reexamination of The Manchurian Candidate, the 1959 novel by Richard Condon on which it was based, and critically analyzed here for the first time the 2004 remake directed by Jonathan Demme. Based on close readings of the film and broad investigations into the eras in which it was made and rediscovered, the authors decode the many layers of meaning within and surrounding the film, from the contradictions of the Cold War it both embodies and parodies McCarthyism and Kennedy liberalism, individualism and conformity to its construction of Asian villains, overbearing women, and male heroes in a society anxious about race, gender, and sexuality. Through their multifaceted analysis of The Manchurian Candidate (in all its incarnations), Jacobson and Gonzalez raise provocative questions about power and anxiety in American politics and society from the Cold War to today.Matthew Frye Jacobson teaches American studies at Yale University. His books include Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post Civil Rights America. Gaspar Gonzalez is an independent scholar and journalist in Miami. He has taught American studies at Yale University and film studies at the University of Miami."
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780816641253
(216mm x 137mm x 13mm)
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 28-Nov-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Matthew Frye Jacobson
Roots Too, Paperback (March 2008)
In the 1970s, white ethnics mobilized around a version of the epic tale of plucky immigrants making their way in the New World through the sweat of their brow. This title establishes a broad white social and political consensus arising in response to the political language of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.
Special Sorrows, Paperback (May 2002)
Suitable for readers who are accustomed to the self-congratulatory myth of America as a beacon of liberty to which the 'huddled masses' of the world look with longing.
Whiteness of a Different Color, Paperback (August 1999)» View all books by Matthew Frye Jacobson
Looking at the field of "whiteness studies" and linking it to traditional historical inquiry, Matthew Frye Jacobson shows that in the USA, nation of immigrants, "race" has been at the core of civic assimilation: ethnic minorities in becoming American were reracialized to become Caucasian.
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