The Noir Forties: The American People from Victory to Cold War

The Noir Forties: The American People from Victory to Cold War

by Richard Lingeman


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Richard Lingeman vividly recreates the momentous years between VJ Day in 1945 and the beginning of the Korean War in 1950--America's postwar period, the "age of anxiety" characterized by the onset of the Red Scare and a nascent resistance to the growing Cold War consensus.

The psychological hangover of World War II merged with burgeoning anti-communist paranoia and created a dark mood, a "postwar noir" phenomenon. The Noir Forties saw the arrival of McCarthyism and a bleak distortion of American political culture. Lingeman traces the attitudes, hopes and fears, prejudices, and collective dreams and nightmares of the times, as reflected in the media, popular culture, political movements, opinion polls, and psychological studies.

Richard Lingeman has created a memorable portrait of what the American people lived, dreamed, and thought during the period that became the crucible in which the destiny of the next forty years was settled.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568589503
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 03/04/2014
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Richard Lingeman is the longtime Senior Editor of The Nation, as well as a biographer, historian, and satirist. He began his career as an editor at Monocle magazine, and spent nine years at the New York Times Book Review as an editor and daily reviewer. He is the author of Sinclair Lewis: Rebel from Main Street, Theodore Dreiser: An American Journey, and Double Lives: American Authors' Friendships, among other titles. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Prologue: Confessions of a Cold Warrior (I) 1

1 Victory Dreams 17

2 D.O.A. 39

3 Reconversion Jitters 63

4 "Home Strange Home" 109

5 The Big Walkout 143

6 Red Dawn on Sunset Strip 167

7 Urban Noir 193

8 The Guns of March 241

9 The Lonely Passion of Henry Wallace 291

10 Korea-Drawing a Line 333

Epilogue: Why Korea? Why Nagasaki? Confessions of a Cold Warrior (II) 363

Notes 379

Credits 401

Index 403

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