In "Postmodernity USA", Anthony Woodiwiss re-examines the political, economic and social life of the United States over the past 60 years. Exploring the rise and fall of modernism as a social ideology, he offers a distinctive and original interpretation of the unique experience of American modernity and the arrival of postmodernity. The result is both a novel history of postwar America and a significant contribution to the idea of postmodernism as a social and cultural condition. Among the distinctive features of the book are: a provocative and stimulating account of change in American society from the New Deal through the 1960s to the present day; a unique account of the dominant discourse of American society, how it has evolved and how it influences current social, political and economic life; a reappraisal of American postmodernity which recognizes it as a consequence of the contradictions and failures of modernity; an examination of how the forgetting of modernism is reflected in key instances of contemporary American political discourse, social science and popular culture.
This coherent and challenging analysis of American postmodernity also carries lessons for the general understanding of class, culture and politics in late industrial societies. Offering an innovative synthesis of postmodernist and Marxist approaches, it will be essential reading for scholars and students as a key interdisciplinary text.
Anthony Woodiwiss is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex. His previous books include Social Theory After Postmodernism, Rights versus Conspiracy: A Sociological Essay on the Development of Labour Law in the United States and Law, Labour and Society in Japan: From Repression to Reluctant Recognition.