The Fifties Chronicle

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9781412715485: The Fifties Chronicle
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The Fifties Chronicle is an irresistible journey through the affluent and anxiety ridden decade of the 1950's. Anyone old enough to remember the fifties will find the era brought back to life with page after page of compelling insight and captivating photography. Those born too late will find a highly readable detailed portrait of another age that brought with it the Korean War, the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement and Rock and Roll. Over 900 stunning photographs help capture the decade, most with in-depth captions. Thematic essays provide the reader a better perspective for each year, including the Korean War (1951), The Civil Rights Movement (1955), The Arms Race (1957), and The Beat Generation (1959).

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About the Author:

Margaret Truman Daniel is the only child of former U.S. President Harry S. Truman and his wife, Bess Wallace Truman. Over a 60-year career, she has been a singer, actress, radio and television personality, and author, turning out more than two dozen fiction and nonfiction books, including a best-selling biography of her father and a popular series of murder mysteries set in the nation s capital. Mrs. Truman Daniel currently lives in New York City.



Beth Bailey, Ph.D., is a professor of history at Temple University. A cultural and social historian of 20th century America, she is the author of Sex in the Heartland and From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America. With David Farber, she coauthored The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii and The Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s. She is also coauthor of A People and a Nation, an American history textbook. She recently received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


David Farber, Ph.D., is a professor of history at Temple University. A cultural and social historian of 20th century America, he is the author of The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s, Taken Hostage: The Iran Hostage Crisis and America s First Encounter with Radical Islam, and Sloan Rules: Alfred P. Sloan and the Triumph of General Motors. With his wife, Beth Bailey, he coauthored The First Strange Place and The Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s. He also was the consultant and a coauthor for The Sixties Chronicle.

Review:

The fascinating contradictions of America s Cold War decade are colorfully explored in THE FIFTIES CHRONICLE (Legacy Publishing), a richly illustrated book that combines coffee-table handsomeness with thorough and insightful year-by-year coverage of the 1950s.
In 1,000 photographs and other images (scores in full color, and all with meaty captions), plus sidebars, a day-by-day timeline of events, 1950-59, and provocative chapter-theme essays (such as 1958 s The Organization Man, a look at the corporate rat race), the book covers subjects as wide ranging as the Korean War and the crisis at Little Rock; the French disaster in Indochina and the invigorating rise of rock n roll; atomic anxiety and loosening sexual mores; the baby boom and TV quiz shows.
Consultants Beth Bailey, Ph.D and David Farber, Ph.D head a skilled team of professional historians whose prose is as lively and provocative as it is authoritative. Whether your interest is nostalgic or historical, THE FIFTIES CHRONICLE will have abundant appeal.
Major political and social themes are tackled with considerable deftness, and are effectively placed in the context of a nation that entered the 50s as the planet s unchallenged political, economic, and cultural leader. Ready employment, good wages for white- and blue-collar work, and a flood of consumer goods sparked the rise of a new American middle class that enjoyed an unprecedented standard of living.
But as the new decade began, America found itself living with the reality of the Soviet Union s atomic capability, a ferociously anti-Communist Red Scare at home, and messy air and ground combat on the divided Korean Peninsula. Thank goodness for President Eisenhower-- Ike --a model of good humor and stability in uncertain times.
The nation s sense of ambivalence--high living on the one hand and a grim fear of nuclear annihilation on the other--is a fascinating shadow cast over many of this big book s 448 pages. For every suburban family man who was proud of his new Pontiac there was a black man who was blocked from the job he needed and deserved. For every uplifting book the likes of Norman Vincent Peale s The Power of Positive Thinking there was a lurid comic book that seemed to celebrate crime and mock traditional values. For every teenager who reveled in the wealth of new products created just for her, there was a housewife who stared at her washing machine and asked, Is this all there is?
Of course, for millions of Americans--many women included--the new status quo was just fine. This is a key aspect of the sunny, optimistic side of the 50s, which THE FIFTIES CHRONICLE amply represents with images of sock hops, roller derby, family barbecues, Cinerama and CinemaScope, Disneyland, the 57 Chevy, Mickey Mantle, the Mousketeers, and many other artifacts of the period. All this, plus movie and TV stills, fashion shots, home furnishings, book and magazine covers, hardcover and paperback books, tiki mugs and toys, home and urban architecture, fine art, Beat culture, and industrial design, from electric shavers to the fabulous 59 Cadillac. and a lot more.
An illustrated prologue describing the Depression and war years, and an epilogue focused on the 1960s, place America s mid-century decade into clear perspective.
Immensely readable, THE FIFTIES CHRONICLE will make for fascinating reading at home, and will be indispensable to school and university collections. --Publications International, Ltd.

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