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Synopsis

White men still hold most of the political and economic cards in the United States; yet stories about wounded and traumatized men dominate popular culture. Why are white men jumping on the victim bandwagon? Examining novels by Philip Roth, John Updike, James Dickey, John Irving, and Pat Conroy and such films as Deliverance, Misery, and Dead Poets Society-as well as other writings, including The Closing of the American Mind-Sally Robinson argues that white men are tempted by the possibilities of pain and the surprisingly pleasurable tensions that come from living in crisis.

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