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

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

By Martin Halliwell

This ebook presents a stimulating account of the dominant cultural sorts of Fifties the US: fiction and poetry; theatre and function; movie and tv; tune and radio; and the visible arts. via exact remark and targeted case stories of influential texts and occasions -- from Invisible guy to West aspect tale, from Disneyland to the Seattle World's reasonable, from Rear Window to The americans -- the e-book examines the best way modernism and the chilly warfare provide frames of reference for knowing the trajectory of postwar culture.The middle goals of this quantity are to chart the altering complexion of yankee tradition within the years following global warfare II and to supply readers with a severe research of 'the 1950s'. The e-book presents an highbrow context for coming near near Fifties American tradition and considers the historic effect of the last decade on fresh social and cultural advancements. Key Features:Focused case reviews 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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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. 60 It was for this reason that communism, juvenile delinquency and race The Intellectual Context 25 relations were the hotly debated topics of the decade. We will come back to these fears in the next section, but it is first worth dwelling on one of the defining documents of the early 1950s consensus. ‘Our Country and Our Culture’ (1952) A handful of liberal and left-wing intellectuals in the early 1950s continued to position themselves as critics of modernity.

Wright Mills (all three to become important figures in the New Left in the early 1960s) stood firm as nonconformists suspicious of the lures of American culture, believing that to give up a critical stance would be to surrender to the reckless course of postwar capitalism. 66 While these dissenting critics were far outweighed by accepting voices, there were others such as the poet Delmore Schwartz and religious thinker Reinhold Niebuhr who occupied the middle ground that Leslie Fiedler had identified.

Charting the development of the advertising industry, Potter estimated that the amount spent on print advertising alone grew six-fold between 1929 and 1951. 25 Potter’s focus on advertising as a medium of social control is not quite as bleak as Adorno and Horkheimer’s theory of a production-line culture industry, but it does suggest that individuals are ill-equipped to challenge the power of advertising to shape choices and values. It was possible to go against the grain of cultural expectations – a businessman choosing to go the bowling alley when the golf club is his cultural metier, for example – but these cross-class activities were rare, particularly in a decade when advertising encouraged the working class to aspire to middle-class values.

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