A Companion to Post-1945 America / Edition 1

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A Companion to Post-1945 America is an original collection of 34 essays by key scholars on the history and historiography of Post-1945 America.

  • Covers society and culture, people and movements, politics and foreign policy
  • Surveys and evaluates the best scholarship on every important era and topic
  • Includes book review section on essential readings
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“These 34 valuable essays review the current state of historical research on a wide range of issues and contribute to the scholarly study of US history following World War II. The issues reflect the diverse directions that historical inquiry has recently taken … This book will help define the new historiography: highly recommended.” Choice

“This is a gem of a book that will fascinate anyone whose interest in recent US history goes beyond nostalgia and personalities. Broad enough to cover both tourism and the Cold War, it will quickly become required reading for scholars of the period.” Michael Kazin, Georgetown University and co-author, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jean-Christophe Agnew is Professor of American Studies and History at Yale University. He is the author of Worlds Apart: The Market and the Theater in Anglo-American Thought (1989) and of a number of articles on the history of market society and consumer culture.

Roy Rosenzweig is College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of History and director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. He is the author, co-author, and co-editor of a number of books, including The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life (1998), which won the Historic Preservation Book Prize for Best Book of 1998.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

About the Contributors ix

Introduction xiii


1 Family and Demography in Postwar America: A Hazard of New Fortunes? 3
Stephen Lassonde

2 The Power of Place: Race, Political Economy, and Identity in the Postwar Metropolis 20
Robert O. Self and Thomas J. Sugrue

3 American Religion Since 1945 44
James T. Fisher

4 Time Out: Leisure and Tourism 64
Susan G. Davis

5 Mass Media: From 1945 to the Present 78
Susan J. Douglas

6 What the Traffic Bares: Popular Music “Back in the USA” 96
Allen Tullos

7 The Visual Arts in Post-1945 America 113
Erika Doss

8 American Intellectual History and Social Thought Since 1945 134
Patrick N. Allitt


9 American Political Culture Since 1945 155
Richard H. King

10 Hyphen Nation: Ethnicity in American Intellectual and Political Life 175
Matthew Frye Jacobson

11 Labor During the American Century: Work, Workers, and Unions Since 1945 192
Joshua B. Freeman

12 The Historiography of the Struggle for Black Equality Since 1945 211
Kevin Gaines

13 Postwar Women’s History: The “Second Wave” or the End of the Family Wage? 235
Nancy MacLean

14 Sexuality and the Movements for Sexual Liberation 260
Beth Bailey

15 A Movement of Movements: The Definition and Periodization of the New Left 277
Van Gosse

16 The Triumph of Conservatives in a Liberal Age 303
David L. Chappell

17 Modern Environmentalism 328
Ian Tyrrell


18 Beyond the Presidential Synthesis: Reordering Political Time 345
Julian E. Zelizer

19 McCarthyism and the Red Scare 371
Ellen Schrecker

20 The Politics of “The Least Dangerous Branch”: The Court, the Constitution, and Constitutional Politics Since 1945 385
Mary L. Dudziak

21 The Cold War in Europe 406
Carolyn Eisenberg

22 Off the Beach: The United States, Latin America, and the Cold War 426
Greg Grandin

23 The United States and East Asia in the Postwar Era 446
James I. Matray

24 Washington Quagmire: US Presidents and the Vietnam Wars –A Pattern of Intervention 464
David Hunt

25 The End of the Cold War 479
David S. Painter and Thomas S. Blanton

26 From the “Atomic Age” to the “Anti-Nuclear Age”: Nuclear Energy in Politics, Diplomacy, and Culture 501
J. Samuel Walker


27 J. Anthony Lukas, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families (1985) 521
Alan Brinkley

28 Charles Payne, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom (1995) 525
Linda Gordon

29 Samuel Lubell, The Future of American Politics (1952, 1956, 1965) 529
Nelson Lichtenstein

30 Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Never Were (1992) 534
Elaine Tyler May

31 Alphonso Pinkney, The Myth of Black Progress (1984) 537
Robert E. Weems, Jr.

32 Garry Wills, Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man (1970) 540
Robert Westbrook

33 Victor Navasky, Naming Names (1980) 545
Jon Wiener

34 Edward Said, Orientalism (1978) 550
Melani McAlister

Index 557

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