On the Postwar Strategic Background, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and In Cold Blood

  • Michael Wainwright


Dating the first appearance of postmodernity remains what philosophers call an empty question, and although the continual contestation prompted by such queries sometimes makes them annoyingly unappealing, they are often usefully addressable.1 In broad terms, postmodernity emerged as modernity declined, a process that Marianne DeKoven traces over a 20-year period starting in the mid-1950s, but that Brian McHale dates to “one year in particular: 1966” (400). McHale also cites, however, Charles Alexander Jencks’s claim “to know exactly when postmodernism began. It began, Jencks says, on July 15, 1972, at 3:32 p.m., when part of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing project in St. Louis was demolished” (391–92; emphasis original).2 Built according to modernist precepts, but unlivable in practice, Pruitt-Igoe “marked the failure of high modernism in architecture.” The detonation of well-placed charges leveled such architectural pretensions. Hence, as McHale states of Jencks’s proposition, “postmodernism began with a bang— literally explosively” (392; emphasis original).


Game Theory Nuclear Weapon Coordination Problem Atom Bomb Rand Corporation 
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© Michael Wainwright 2016

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  • Michael Wainwright

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