The Fifties

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Villard Books, 1993 - History - 800 pages
13 Reviews
The Fifties is a sweeping social, political, economic, and cultural history of the ten years that David Halberstam regards as seminal in determining what our nation is today. It is the decade of Joe McCarthy and the young Martin Luther King, the Korean War and Levittown, Jack Kerouac and Elvis Presley. Halberstam not only gives us the titans of the age - Eisenhower, Dulles, Oppenheimer, MacArthur, Hoover, and Nixon - but also Harley Earl, who put fins on cars; Dick and Mac McDonald and Ray Kroc, who mass-produced the American hamburger; Kemmons Wilson, who placed his Holiday Inns along the nation's roadsides; U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers; Grace Metalious, who wrote Peyton Place; and "Goody" Pincus, who led the team that invented the Pill. Here is a portrait of a time of conflict, at once an age of astonishing material affluence and a period of great political anxiety. We follow, among other things, the quickening pace of American life and the powerful impact of national television, still in its infancy, on American society: from the Kefauver hearings to I Love Lucy to Charles Van Doren and the quiz-show scandals to the young John Chancellor of NBC covering the Little Rock riots and holding up a disturbing mirror to America.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dasam - LibraryThing

Who knew that the Fifties were so dascinating? As a child in the 1950s I missed the import of much of what went on in the world. As a teenager in the 1960s, i thought of the Fifties as another era ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RickTheobald - LibraryThing

Extremely well done chronicling of this critical decade in our country...Reads like a novel, but loaded with important insights. Read full review

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About the author (1993)

David Halberstam was born on April 10, 1934 in New York City and later attended Harvard University. After graduating in 1955, Halberstam worked at a small daily newspaper until he attained a position at the Nashville Tennessean. Halberstam has written over 20 books including The Children, a written account of his coverage of the Civil Rights Movement; The Best and Brightest, which was a bestseller; and The Game and October, 1964, both detailing his fascination of sports. Halberstam also won a Pulitzer Prize for his reports on the Vietnam War while working for the New York Times. He was killed in a car crash on April 23, 2007 at the age of 73.

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