Diners, Bowling Alleys, and Trailer Parks: Chasing the American Dream in Postwar Consumer Culture / Edition 1

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Overview

The years immediately following the Second World War witnessed a dramatic transformation of America's working-class suburbs, driven by an unprecedented post-war prosperity and a burgeoning consumer culture. Chrome and neon were the new currency in this newly vital consumer culture, and no post-war consumer products trafficked more heavily in this currency than diners, bowling alleys, and trailer parks. Through these three distinctively American institutions, Andrew Hurley examines the struggle of Americans with modest means to attain the good life after two long decades of depression and war. He tells the story of the humble origins, explosive growth, and gradual, sad decline of the diner, bowling alley, and trailer park in expert fashion. This is cultural and social history that knows how to entertain.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
A nifty bit of near-contemporary sociology that traces the effects—good and bad, transient and enduring—of the rampaging materialism that took root in the United States in the years after World War II.... Perceptively unearths many previously buried meanings attached to the commercial artifacts mentioned in the title.
San Francisco Chronicle
Well-documented, tightly reasoned and balanced.
Wall Street Journal
It has a quirky charm.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465031870
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 409
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Hurley is Associate Professor of History at the University of Missouri. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Credits ix
Preface xiii
Introduction: Remaking the American Dream 1
1 Diners 21
2 Bowling Alleys 107
3 Trailer Parks 195
Conclusion: Giving Chase 273
Epilogue 327
Notes 337
Index 391
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