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Dirty Harry's America"Clint Eastwood, Harry Callahan, and the Conservative Backlash"$
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Joe Street

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061672

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061672.001.0001

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“Dirty” Harry Callahan in American Popular Culture

“Dirty” Harry Callahan in American Popular Culture

(p.177) 6 “Dirty” Harry Callahan in American Popular Culture
Dirty Harry's America

Joe Street

University Press of Florida

Chapter six moves beyond politics to focus on other manifestations of Dirty Harry Callahan in American popular culture, thus revealing the extent to which Callahan’s influence continues to be felt long after Eastwood formally retired the character. It analyses a series of pulp novels that appeared in the early 1980s and attempted to exploit Callahan’s popularity while confirming his low culture credentials. This theme continues in the chapter’s assessment of references to Callahan in graphic novels (especially those written by Frank Miller), television, video games, and fan fiction. It suggests that, while these representations and refractions of Callahan are not as explicitly conservative as the expressions of Callahanian attitudes in conservative political rhetoric, they serve to confirm Callahan, and consequently Dirty Harry’s vision of America, as not merely a fictional construct but an articulation of a very real American political persuasion.

Keywords:   Dirty Harry, Frank Miller, Pulp novels, Conservative, Fan fiction

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