American Culture in the 1950s

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Edinburgh University Press, 2007 - History - 313 pages
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This book provides a stimulating account of the dominant cultural forms of 1950s America: fiction and poetry; theatre and performance; film and television; music and radio; and the visual arts. Through detailed commentary and focused case studies of influential texts and events - from Invisible Man to West Side Story, from Disneyland to the Seattle World's Fair, from Rear Window to The Americans - the book examines the way in which modernism and the cold war offer two frames of reference for understanding the trajectory of postwar culture. The two core aims of this volume are to chart the changing complexion of American culture in the years following World War II and to provide readers with a critical investigation of 'the 1950s'. The book provides an intellectual context for approaching 1950s American culture and considers the historical impact of the decade on recent social and cultural developments. Key Features: * Focused case studies featuring key texts, genres, writers, artists and cultural trends* Chronology of 1950s American Culture* Bibliographies for each chapter* over twenty illustrations
  

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Contents

Chapter 1 Fiction and Poetry
51
Chapter 2 Drama and Performance
85
Chapter 3 Music and Radio
119
Chapter 4 Film and Television
147
Chapter 5 The Visual Arts beyond Modernism
189
Conclusion Rethinking the 1950s
225
Notes
245
Bibliography
285
Index
303
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Page 35 - ... a multitude of uniform, unidentifiable houses, lined up inflexibly, at uniform distances, on uniform roads, in a treeless communal waste...
Page 34 - If a neighborhood is to retain stability, it is necessary that properties shall continue to be occupied by the same social and racial classes.
Page 11 - I am waiting for my case to come up and I am waiting for a rebirth of wonder...

About the author (2007)


Martin Halliwell is Professor of American Studies at the University of Leicester

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