American Culture in the 1950s (Twentieth Century American by Martin Halliwell

By Martin Halliwell

This e-book offers a stimulating account of the dominant cultural varieties of Nineteen Fifties the USA: fiction and poetry; theatre and function; movie and tv; track and radio; and the visible arts. via unique observation and targeted case reviews of influential texts and occasions -- from Invisible guy to West part tale, from Disneyland to the Seattle World's reasonable, from Rear Window to The americans -- the ebook examines the best way modernism and the chilly conflict supply frames of reference for figuring out the trajectory of postwar culture.The center 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 booklet offers an highbrow context for drawing close Fifties American tradition and considers the ancient effect of the last decade on contemporary social and cultural advancements. Key Features:Focused case experiences that includes key texts, genres, writers, artists and cultural trendsChronology of Nineteen Fifties American CultureBibliographies for every chapterMore than twenty illustrations

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1 Senator Joseph McCarthy on CBS Television in 1954. termed, brought together liberals, moderates and conservatives in an alliance against the excesses of communism on the one hand and the reckless accusations of McCarthy on the other. To affirm the socially cohesive qualities of American culture, or its ‘vital center’ as the liberal intellectual Arthur Schlesinger Jr called it in his 1949 book, was a way of offsetting forces that undermined the vitality of culture. But the danger was that, as C.

Hofstadter’s claim that ‘the critical mind was at a ruinous discount’ in the early 1950s mirrored Philip Wylie’s assertion in his 1955 introduction to Generation of Vipers that ‘the critical attitude . . is mistrusted in America’ because it is ‘thought by millions to border on subversion especially when it becomes criticism . . 59 Underlying Wylie’s rhetoric is the suspicion that consensus is less about informed agreement and more about fears that differing views would arouse censure or punishment.

67 Niebuhr thought that the stand-off with the Soviet Union had closed down intellectual possibilities – it was now a matter of deciding whose side you were on rather than exploring the complex political and cultural terrain between opposing worldviews. While he claimed patriotism was right and necessary, Niebuhr went on to warn against flag-waving, arguing that the ‘foes within America’ (including McCarthy) offer greater danger than ‘the foe without’, adding that one must be vigilant against ‘hysteria, hatred, mistrust, and pride’.

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