The 1950s

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Overview

Have the 1950s been overly romanticized? Beneath the calm, conformist exterior, new ideas and attitudes were percolating. This was the decade of McCarthyism, Levittowns, and men in gray flannel suits, but the 1950s also saw bold architectural styles, the rise of paperback novels and the Beat writers, Cinema Scope and film noir, television variety shows, the Golden Age of the automobile, subliminal advertising, fast food, Frisbees, and silly putty. Meanwhile, teens attained a more prominent role in American culture with hot rods, rock 'n' roll, preppies and greasers, and—gasp—juvenile delinquency. At the same time, a new technological threat, the atom bomb, lurked beneath the surface of the postwar decade. This volume presents a nuanced look at a surprisingly complex time in American popular culture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313323935
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Series: American Popular Culture Through History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 372
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM H. YOUNG is a freelance writer and independent scholar. He has recently retired from teaching English, American Studies, and popular culture at Lynchburg College in Virginia for 36 years. Young has published books and articles on various subjects of popular culture.

NANCY K. YOUNG is an adjunct professor for the Counselor Education Program in the School of Education and Human Development at Lynchburg College.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Timeline of the 1950s xv
Part I Life and Youth During the 1950s 1
Chapter 1. Everyday America 3
Chapter 2. World of Youth 23
Part II Popular Culture of the 1950s 37
Chapter 3. Advertising 39
Chapter 4. Architecture and Design 61
Chapter 5. Fashion 81
Chapter 6. Food and Drink 95
Chapter 7. Leisure Activities 113
Chapter 8. Literature 135
Chapter 9. Music 159
Chapter 10. Performing Arts 181
Chapter 11. Travel and Recreation 247
Chapter 12. Visual Arts 267
Cost of Products in the 1950s 285
Notes 289
Further Reading 303
Index 331
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