Comments by David Kehr Throughout his career as an actor and a filmmaker, Clint Eastwood has practiced a policy of alternation, seldom repeating a tone, a character, or a genre two films in a row.
The war cast America onto the world stage as a mighty economic and military giant. It rescued the country from the Great Depression, created full employment, and for the first time in a generation increased real income for American workers.
Moreover, the poorest 40 percent of the population saw its share of the national income grow, while the top 5 percent witnessed a decline. Technology boomed, and the computer age began. African Americans and women experienced more dramatic change than they had in decades.
And the contours of postwar diplomacy took shape in response to issues dividing the Western Allies on the one hand from the Soviet Union on the other. Although the war lasted only four years for the United States, its impact endured for generations.
Domestically, the war triggered massive social changes. Most were married and over Whereas before the war, the average woman worker was young, single, and poor, by the end of the war she was married, middle aged, and increasingly middle class. African Americans joined the Armed Forces in record numbers, while two million left the South for factory jobs in the North and West.
While facing ongoing discrimination, black Americans pursued the "Double V" campaign—victory against racism at home as well as victory against fascism abroad. In the meantime, workers with rising incomes put their money into savings accounts, since rationing limited their ability to purchase consumer goods like cars and clothes.
Those funds were then available to fuel the consumer boom that followed the war. Millions took advantage of the opportunities to buy new houses in the suburbs, shop for new cars and appliances, and join the burgeoning "affluent society" of the s.
The war also set the stage for the dominant political and diplomatic reality of the postwar years—the Cold War. Tensions among the Allies had existed from the beginning of World War II, and after the war profound conflicts continued to separate the superpowers.
What would be the fate of Poland, whose freedom was the reason for Allied intervention in the first place? How would Germany and Japan be governed after the war? Should they fall under Soviet control, or have Western-style free governments?
And how about the atomic bomb? Should the United States try to be the sole nuclear power, or should it share information about atomic science? Although Roosevelt was confident he could reconcile these tensions, he died before the war ended, and he never shared his ideas for making peace.
Bypolarization between the two superpowers had come to dominate all diplomatic relations. It was a battle between good and evil, he said, with God-fearing people who believed in freedom on one side, and atheistic Communists who believed in tyranny on the other.
In this worldview, there could be no room for compromise, and anyone who suggested such a course was immoral.
Pursuing a policy of "containment," the United States pledged to fight Communist incursions any place and any time they occurred.William H. Chafe is the Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History at Duke University. His recent publications include Private Lives/Public Consequences: Personality and Politics in Modern America () and The Rise and Fall of the American Century: The United States from to ().
This Library of Congress site studies the first totally American fantasy for children and its sequels, stage plays and musicals, movies and television shows, biographies of Baum, scholarly studies of the significance of the book and film, advertisements, and toys, games, and other Oz-related products.
SOURCE: “The Cowboy Hero: An American Myth Examined,” in The American Cowboy, by Lonn Taylor and Ingrid Maar, Harper and Row, , pp.
63‐ [In the following essay, Taylor examines the rise of the traditional cowboy persona over the course of the nineteenth century, focusing on the evolving depictions of the cowboy in popular . Sep 27, · The Image of Cowboy in American Illustrations Currently, consumer studies researchers are becoming increasingly preoccupied with analyzing popular culture in order to understand how and why people embrace certain artistic products.
Mar 17, · Consider them (and here, he braces himself with a cheery all-American smile) a symbol of America's right to choose. Nick, played with devilish charm . And now, four centuries from the discovery of America, at the end of a hundred years of life under the Constitution, the frontier has gone, and with its going has closed the first period of American history.