American culture in the 1950s by Martin Halliwell

By Martin Halliwell

This booklet presents a stimulating account of the dominant cultural sorts of Nineteen Fifties the United States: fiction and poetry; theatre and function; movie and tv; track and radio; and the visible arts. via special observation and targeted case reviews of influential texts and occasions - from Invisible guy to West aspect tale, from Disneyland to the Seattle World's reasonable, from Rear Window to The americans - the e-book examines the way modernism and the chilly warfare supply frames of reference for knowing the trajectory of postwar tradition. the 2 middle goals of this quantity are to chart the altering complexion of yank tradition within the years following global conflict II and to supply readers with a severe research of 'the 1950s'. The e-book presents an highbrow context for coming near near Nineteen Fifties American tradition and considers the historic effect of the last decade on fresh social and cultural advancements

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Rose focuses on 1950 as a watershed year in Truman’s last term, but a broader perspective of ‘containment’ is often adopted to explore the contradictions of the decade. Deployed by statesman George F. 15 Rather than dealing with it in the precise way that Kennan and the cold war policymakers had intended, cultural historians Stephen Whitfield, Lary May, Margot Henrikson, Alan Nadel and Mary Dudziak all treat containment as a general metaphor of social restriction in cold war America. It was central to Kennan’s philosophy of political realism in the late 1940s and his warning that the nation must be watchful and vigilant against security threats, particularly from an ambitious Soviet Union.

We shall see in this book that culture in the 1950s was sometimes used agonistically as a tool to challenge authority, but with the lure of advertising it was difficult for many to resist the pleasures of consumption. It is important not to underestimate the growth of advertising after World War II for instructing the public in their cultural tastes and aspirations. Potter sketched in the outlines for understanding culture at mid-century, but it was the sociologist Vance Packard who helped more than any other thinker to refine a theory of advertising and assess its impact on American life in the 1950s.

15 Rather than dealing with it in the precise way that Kennan and the cold war policymakers had intended, cultural historians Stephen Whitfield, Lary May, Margot Henrikson, Alan Nadel and Mary Dudziak all treat containment as a general metaphor of social restriction in cold war America. It was central to Kennan’s philosophy of political realism in the late 1940s and his warning that the nation must be watchful and vigilant against security threats, particularly from an ambitious Soviet Union. But postwar containment also had negative connotations, suggesting that classified information was being withheld or that citizens were being duped into believing the official line from Washington.

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