On the surface, the 1950s was a time of post-war prosperity and abundance. However, in spite of a relaxation of immigration policies, the “good life” in the 50s was mainly confined to white non-ethnic Americans. A new Cold War with the Soviet Union intended to contain the threat of Communism, and the resulting red scare tinged the experience of all U.S. citizens during the decade.
This book examines the key trends, people, and movements of the 1950s and inspects them within a larger cultural and social context. By highlighting controversies in the decade, readers will gain a better understanding of the social values and thinking of the time. The examination of the individuals who influenced American culture in the 1950s enables students to gauge the tension between established norms of conformity and those figures that used pop culture as a broad avenue for change—either intentionally, or by accident.
- Presents a balanced perspective on the decade that debunks the popular myth that the 1950s was uniformly a happy, carefree time of wholesome fun and "the good old days"
- Documents the suburban transformation that drastically changed American society
- Provides data that shows television viewing statistics and viewer ratings that helps readers see the influence of television media in the 1950s
- Includes a section that explores how the changes within the 1950s have a legacy that continue to affect our current cultural climate