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
Martin Halliwell is Professor of American Studies at the University of Leicester. His most recent authored books include American Culture in the 1950s (EUP, 2007), Transatlantic Modernism: Moral Dilemmas in Modernist Fiction (EUP, 2005), The Constant Dialogue: Reinhold Niebuhr and American Intellectual Culture (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) and Images of Idiocy: The Idiot Figure in Modern Fiction and Film (Ashgate, 2004).
American Culture in the 1950s; Martin Halliwell; Contents;; Illustrations; Case Studies; Acknowledgements; Chronology of 1950s American Culture; Introduction: The Intellectual Context; 1. Fiction and Poetry; 2. Drama and Performance; 3. Music and Radio; 4. Film and Television; 5. The Visual Arts beyond Modernism; Conclusion: Rethinking the 1950s; Notes; Bibliography; Index.