Bad Old Days: The Myth of the 1950s by Alan J. Levine

By Alan J. Levine

For many, in particular these at the political left, the Nineteen Fifties are the "bad previous days." the commonly permitted checklist of what was once allegedly flawed with that decade contains the chilly conflict, McCarthyism, racial segregation, self-satisfied prosperity, and empty materialism. the issues are coupled with ignoring poverty and different social difficulties, complacency, conformity, the suppression of girls, and puritanical attitudes towards intercourse. In all, the normal knowledge sees the last decade as bland and dull, with in general authorised humans paralyzed with worry of struggle, Communism, or McCarthyism, or all three.

Alan J. Levine, indicates that the widely approved photograph of the Nineteen Fifties is defective. It distorts a severe interval of yankee historical past. That distortion appears dictated by means of an ideological time table, together with an emotional obsession with a sentimentalized model of the Nineteen Sixties that during flip calls for retaining a specific, deceptive view of the post-World warfare II period that preceded it. Levine argues severe view of the Fifties is embedded in an unwillingness to realistically overview the evolution of yankee society because the Nineteen Sixties. Many--and not just liberals and people extra to the left--desperately wish to keep away from seeing, or admitting, simply how badly many stuff have long past within the usa because the 1960s.

Bad outdated Days exhibits that the traditional view of the Nineteen Fifties stands towards the truth of the last decade. faraway from being the dismal prelude to a wonderful interval of development, the postwar interval of the overdue Forties and Fifties used to be an period of unheard of growth and prosperity. this period was once then derailed through catastrophic political and financial misjudgments and a drastic shift within the nationwide ethos that contributed not anything, or under not anything, to a greater world.

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155160; Geoffrey Perrett, A Dream of Greatness (New York: Coward, McCann, and Geoghegan, 1979), p. 698; Alan Levine, “Redefining Racism” in American Outlook (Spring 2002), pp. 38-43; Alan Levine, Race Relations Within Western Expansion (Westport, CT: Greenwood/Praeger 1996), pp. 117-128; Arnold Beichman, Nine Lies About America (New York: Pocket Books 1973); James Burnham, Suicide of the West (New York: John Day, 1964), p. 194. The depth of the recent obsession with guilt is shown by the criticism of Gunnar Myrdal by the Thernstroms and David W.

Cf. Frum, How We Got Here, p. 352. Leebaehrt, The Fifty Year Wound, passim; Alan J. Levine, “Cold War History at a Glance” The World & I (February 2001) pp. 303-311; Alan J. Levine Stalin’s Last War (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2005); Tang Tsou, America’s Failure in China 1941-1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1963); John Lewis Gadddis, Strategies of Containment (New York: Oxford University Press 1982); John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997). This Page Intentionally Left Blank 3 Race: The Great American Obsession For many—not only liberals—the 1950s are “discredited” by the fact that blacks, in the South at least, were still subject to legal segregation and other sorts of discrimination.

In his inaugural address he Race: The Great American Obsession 33 condemned ideas of racial superiority and inferiority; and in February 1953, he began the desegregation of Washington, DC and federal installations in the South. Attorney General Brownell filed a brief in favor of desegregation in the Brown v. Board of Education case in November 1953; and in April 1954, the administration insisted on anti-segregation and antidiscrimination clauses in all federal contracts. It is nevertheless widely held that Eisenhower disliked the school desegregation decision.

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