By Martin Halliwell
This e-book offers a stimulating account of the dominant cultural kinds of Nineteen Fifties the United States: fiction and poetry; theatre and function; movie and tv; song and radio; and the visible arts. via particular observation and concentrated case reports of influential texts and occasions - from Invisible guy to West facet tale, from Disneyland to the Seattle World's reasonable, from Rear Window to The american citizens - the ebook examines the best way modernism and the chilly conflict supply frames of reference for figuring out the trajectory of postwar tradition. the 2 middle goals of this quantity are to chart the altering complexion of yankee tradition within the years following international conflict II and to supply readers with a severe research of 'the 1950s'. The booklet presents an highbrow context for imminent Fifties American tradition and considers the historic influence of the last decade on contemporary social and cultural advancements
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36 Writing as late as 1967, Michael Paul Rogin noted the ongoing effect of McCarthyism on the intellectual community. 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.
On the positive side, in May 1959 the popular magazine Look ran a feature on racial mixing in Hawaii, with one nineteenyear-old Hawaiian claiming ‘I’m Filipino, Chinese, Hawaiian, North American Indian, English and Spanish. I’m all mixed up’ and the 28 American Culture in the 1950s Governor of Hawaii promoting the island as a microcosm of democracy: ‘the Hawaiian is the man of the Pacific, bearing the seeds and fruits of the cultures of East and West. 71 Whatever the underlying reasons for delay and eventual admission, these debates concerning American territory are crucial for understanding social and political developments in the postwar years.
But the danger was that, as C. 40 Until he was discredited in 20 American Culture in the 1950s the live broadcast of the Army hearings in spring 1954, McCarthy was approved by between 30 and 40 per cent of the population, suggesting a widening gulf between the public and intellectuals. To be an intellectual in the 1950s was usually to be part of the eastern patrician world that McCarthy’s midwestern populism attacked. McCarthy’s aim was to purge institutions of those deemed to be holding subversive ideas, but it was his ability to manipulate anticommunist sentiments, particularly during the Korean War, which explains his widespread appeal in the early decade.