Faking it: U.S. Hegemony in a "post-phallic" Era

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U of Minnesota Press, 1999 - History - 151 pages
Forget Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam -- is the United States queer? Is the American body politic in drag? Cynthia Weber thinks so, at least in terms of recent American foreign relations with Cuba and other Caribbean countries. In Faking It, she queers heterosexual codes of sex and gender and offers a provocative and sometimes hilarious take on U.S. foreign policy that one reader compared to "a combination of Woody Allen and Friedrich Nietzsche finding themselves in a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

Weber scrutinizes popular conceptions of how the United States is embodied, arguing that the quality of queerness is both absent and present in these imaginings. She argues that in the U.S. wooing of Castro's Cuba in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution of 1959 -- an event that "grafted Castro's hypermasculinity onto the iconic femininity of prerevolutionary Cuba" -- the American body politic was symbolically castrated. This event triggered the current, "post-phallic" era in U.S. foreign policy, one that has critically queered American hegemony.

In tracing the subsequent U.S. interventions in the Caribbean -- its invasion of the Dominican Republic under Johnson, of Grenada under Reagan, and of Panama under Bush, as well as its intervention in Haiti under Clinton -- Weber contends that U.S. policy in the Caribbean consists of a series of strategic displacements of castration anxiety. Since 1959, then, Weber argues that the United States has been "faking it" -- "it" being a straight, masculine, hegemonic identity and the phallic power that comes with such an identity.

Weber locates her disruptions smack in the middle of the "serious business" of governing a superpower. Compact anddroll, lively and accessible, Faking It offers new ways to think about American identity and its public construction.

 

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Faking it: U. S. hegemony in a "post-phallic" era

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Weber (political science, Purdue Univ.; Simulating Sovereignty, Cambridge Univ., 1995) provides an invigorating analysis of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America through the lens of queer theory, one ... Read full review

Faking it: U. S. hegemony in a "post-phallic" era

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Weber (political science, Purdue Univ.; Simulating Sovereignty, Cambridge Univ., 1995) provides an invigorating analysis of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America through the lens of queer theory, one ... Read full review

Contents

Picture This
1
Lights Camera Reagan or Finding the Bestof America in Grenada
59
Male Hysteria and the U S Invasion of Panama
83
Masquerading America and the U S Intervaskm of Haiti
105
Americas Queer Accessory
127
Bibliography
139
Index
147
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