Book Cover

Apocalypse Man

The Death Drive and the Rhetoric of White Masculine Victimhood

Casey Ryan Kelly

190 pp. 6 x 9
3 black ;& white illustrations
Pub Date:  March, 2020

Subjects: Rhetoric & Communication
American Studies
Gender & Sexuality Studies
Film & Media
Cultural Studies

order Hardcover $99.95   ISBN 978-0-8142-1432-9
order Paperback $29.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-5578-0
Order PDF ebook$29.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-7777-5

“An ambitious, disturbing, and ultimately necessary project that helps us make sense of our current, popular, political moment.” —Joshua Gunn

“Casey Kelly has produced a book that not only offers an important critique of mediated rhetorics of white male victimization (and white male supremacy) but also generates nuanced theoretical accounts of the relationship between particular forms of mediation and the intersecting ideologies of race and gender that they articulate. I am excited to use this book in my own scholarship and teaching.” —Claire Sisco King

Exemplified by President Donald J. Trump’s slogan “Make American Great Again,” white masculinity has become increasingly organized around melancholic attachments to an imagined past when white men were still atop the social hierarchy. How and why are white men increasingly identifying as victims of social, economic, and political change? Casey Ryan Kelly’s Apocalypse Man seeks to answer this question by examining textual and performative examples of white male rhetoric—as found among online misogynist and incel communities, survivalists and “doomsday preppers,” gender-motivated mass shooters, gun activists, and political demagogues. Using sources ranging from reality television and Reddit manifestos to gun culture and political rallies, Kelly ultimately argues that death, victimhood, and fatalism have come to underwrite the constitution of contemporary white masculinity.

Casey Ryan Kelly is Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the author of Abstinence Cinema: Virginity and the Rhetoric of Sexual Purity in Contemporary Film, and the recipient of numerous awards from the National Communication Association.


List of Illustrations


Introduction    The Apocalyptic Male

Chapter 1        Doomsday Preppers: The Man-pocalypse

Chapter 2        The Red Pill: The New Men’s Rights Rhetoric

Chapter 3        Incel Rebellion: Fascism and Male Autarky

Chapter 4        Sun’s Out, Guns Out: Open Carry and the White Male Body

Chapter 5        Midnight in America: Donald J. Trump and Political Sadomasochism

Conclusion      Return to Charlottesville


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