This book focuses on American political discourse connected to war, dissent, and empathy. Through interdisciplinary methods of history, politics and media studies, the book examines ways in which American self-identity alters as a consequence of media portrayal of human suffering and of its existential others. It compares representations of the Iraq wars to earlier precedents and looks at the work of American activists, assessing how narratives and images of human suffering in new media iconography generate empathic attitudes towards others.
This comparative, multimodal study helps to explain shifting self-identities within the U.S, and relationally through the representation of the Arab other presenting an original and historicised contribution to the media-war field of academic and public debate. The book underscores empathy as a vibrant category of analysis that expands how we think about West-Arab relations, revealing how understanding the cultural aspects of this conflictual interrelationship needs to be broadened.