The Fifties: The Way We Really Were

Front Cover
VNR AG, 1977 - History - 444 pages
Come back with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear, to the days of bobby sox, soda fountains, Elvis Presley and American Bandstand, hot rods and James Dean. But come back, too, to the "fabulous era" remembered less nostalgically as "a moral disaster" and "one of the worst decades in the history of man." Here is the first in-depth social and cultural history of the fifties: the decade that brought America the anticommunist hysteria of the McCarthy hearings, the Cold War and bomb shelters, "I Like Ike" and "I Love Lucy," quiz show scandals, the Korean War, Richard Nixon's Checkers speech, "the man in the gray flannel suit" arid the Beat Generation, Norman Vincent Peale, Mickey Spillane and Marilyn Monroe, rock and roll, the Kinsey Report, and an ugly racial confrontation at a high school in Little Rock. It was a decade that began in prosperity and national faith and ended in doubt, uneasiness, and a yearning for change. A generation in which the proliferation of TVs, suburbs, and automobiles radically changed the way we lived and the way we thought. An era in which the corruption and waste of "the affluent society" was beginning to mushroom. A period in which consensus was the highest goal and nonconformity the greatest sin, but in which the revolutionary ideas of the sixties were already simmering beneath the surface of conventional morality. In short, a decade that has much to tell us about how we got to be what we are today. After years of research, the authors have written an angry, funny, and insightful book that puts into perspective the contradictions of this critical period in our nation's recent past.--Adapted from book jacket.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Sinister Sweets and More Insidious McCarthyisms
21
Learning to Love the Bomb
43
Aint Nobody Here but Us Protestants Catholics and Jews 8f
106
The Paving of America
127
The Happy Home Corporation and Baby Factory
147
ThreeFifths of a Person
182
The Conservative Contraction
220
Showdown at the Little Red Schoolhouse
248
TVs the Thing
344
Fiction in the Fifties
375
Copyright

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