A pervasive feeling at the end of World War II, notes Philip D. Beidler, was that Americans had 'inherited the earth' and could look forward to a kind of golden age, the 'Good Life after the Good War'. But this good life - for all its genuine possibilities - was only accessible to some and was countered by racial tensions, the fear of communism and nuclear war, gender inequalities, and a rising consumer culture, among other problems and anxieties. In these essays - a combination of personal remembrance and broad-stroke cultural history - Beidler addresses the national blindness toward the Holocaust and a rising China, the canker of McCarthyism, an ascendant culture of hard smoking and heavy drinking, the worship of cars and film idols, and the chronic fear of an always-possible nuclear apocalypse. In lively, driving prose, he recalls veiled episodes in the history of the Korean War, the Civil Rights movement, and the struggle for women's liberation. On these subjects and many others, Beidler draws from his own experience and a penetrating grasp of American social history. Together, they offer deep, pointed, and comprehensive perspectives on iconic moments in American history.