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Books of the DeadReading the Zombie in Contemporary Literature$
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Tim Lanzendörfer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496819062

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496819062.001.0001

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Max Brooks’s World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Max Brooks’s World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

Conservative Armageddon and Liberal Postapocalypse

(p.25) 1 Max Brooks’s World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
Books of the Dead

Tim Lanzendörfer

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter suggests that Max Brooks’sgroundbreakingWorld War Z is best understood as both an indictment of neoconservative politics ca. 2005 as well as a catalogue of the anxieties of the early 21st century, and provides an idealized liberal-social democratic solution. But it is also a depiction of the limits of this liberal imagination of utopia, suggesting, if inadvertently, the way in which liberalism itself constrains conceptions of what a better world might look. Opening the study, the chapter lays out the way the zombie is a figure of possibility that, however, needs to be read against the actual ways in which these possibilities find expression.

Keywords:   Max Brooks, World War Z, Liberal imagination, Utopia, Post-apocalypse

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