From the Ashes: Society and Economy in Nuclear Literature

  • Daniel Cordle


The 1980s were characterised by deep divisions between supporters and opponents of the neoliberal reforms of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. The social and cultural schisms these disagreements produced run through literature of the period. Discussing works by Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Don DeLillo and Tim O’Brien, amongst others, the chapter shows how depictions of contemporary society map nuclear concerns into these broader social anxieties. It then turns to several fictions set after nuclear war, including novels by Louise Lawrence, Ursula Le Guin, Paul Cook, Robert Swindells and Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka, which use the trauma of nuclear destruction to project contemporary socio-economic theories into the future and explore how new kinds of society might emerge.


Nuclear Weapon Civil Defence Utopian Vision Nuclear Issue Nuclear Attack 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Cordle
    • 1
  1. 1.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUnited Kingdom

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