Introduction: American Apocalypses

From the American Revolution through the Great Depression and the atomic threats of the Cold War period, fear of the apocalypse and the end of the world have shaped the US-American experience. Thus, American daily life has come to be governed by an omnipresence of multifaceted ideas about the day of reckoning which renders “America and Apocalypse [to] become two sides of the same coin” (Hay 4). It is this close relationship between the two which leads American society to imagine the doomsday in many different ways, including the climate crisis, pandemics, and the perpetual threat of nuclear warfare.

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