Lindsay ThomasApr 2, 2021
Training for Catastrophe
Fictions of National Security after 9/11
University of Minnesota Press 2021
In Training for Catastrophe: Fictions of National Security After 9/11 (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), author Lindsay Thomas studies the relationship between fiction and U.S. national security — specifically, the instrumentalization of fiction in preparedness materials, in which fictional events are phrased not only as real, but as producing eligible information and ‘intelligence.’ Approaching the subject from literary studies, Thomas finds the consequences of realism, genre, character, and plot in materials ranging from a Center for Disease Control comic about a zombie apocalypse to the political thrillers of former national security advisor Richard Clarke. Tackling U.S. national security’s often overlooked intrusion into questions of literature and life, Training for Catastrophe is a pertinent intervention into how we respond to crisis.
Frani O'Toole is a writer/researcher working at an architecture and urban planning firm based in Texas