'The twilight of utopia': British dystopian fiction and the Cold War

Andrew Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay analyses British dystopian fiction in the cultural and political context of the Cold War. Although the conflict dominated international history during the latter half of the twentieth century, its impact on literary production has rarely been explored in British scholarship. The genre of dystopianism is used to demonstrate the significance of East-West hostilities to modern fiction. Ranging from George Orwell to Ian McEwan, J.G. Ballard and Martin Amis, and including reference to a number of rarely studied texts, the essay examines such key themes as authoritarianism, propaganda, technology, decolonisation, nuclear anxiety, anti-Americanisnm and anti-communism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-681
Number of pages20
JournalModern Language Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


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