By Jacqueline Foertsch
This publication explores the foremost cultural kinds of Nineteen Forties the US - fiction and non-fiction; tune and radio; movie and theatre; severe and well known visible arts - and key texts, traits and figures, from local Son to Citizen Kane, from Hiroshima to HUAC, and from Dr Seuss to Bob wish. After discussing the dominant principles that tell the Nineteen Forties the booklet culminates with a bankruptcy at the 'culture of war'. instead of splitting the last decade at 1945, Jacqueline Foertsch argues persuasively that the Forties could be taken as an entire, looking for hyperlinks among wartime and postwar American tradition
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Additional resources for American Culture in the 1940s
Popular editor and essayist Norman Cousins observed, just as the war ended, that ‘victory has given us no real “respite” . . 1 Out of victors’ quarrels over division of spoils in the immediate postwar period came the alliances and oppositions that would constitute the cold war enshadowing most of the second half of the twentieth century. The momentous events of the mid-1940s are thus pivotal in multiple respects, dividing as they join early and later parts of a decade and a century. While it is as futile as it is dishonest to attempt to interpret the chaos of human history in discrete ten-year periods (much less in arbitrary but insistent ‘decades’ beginning with year ‘0’ and ending with year ‘9’), it has nevertheless proven helpful, and even essential, to the enterprises of personal and collective memory to do exactly that.
76 The Intellectual Context John Hersey’s Hiroshima (1946) In 1946, The New Yorker devoted its entire 31 August issue to publication of John Hersey’s non-fiction account, Hiroshima. Having interviewed at length six survivors of the 6 August atomic bombing, Hersey related their stories in dispassionate prose, setting a vivid scene as he did. 77 The narrative follows six survivors – two doctors, two churchmen, a clerical worker, and a housewife selected by Hersey primarily for being ‘good interview subjects’78 – from the moment of the blast into the days and months of the early recovery period.
44 But the United States did not need to think in terms of the post-war environment to realise that its isolationist days were over, that its dirty racial secrets were no The Intellectual Context 15 longer a strictly private matter. As White observed on his way overseas to study the problem of discrimination for the first time, ‘In the old days, when time and space were material obstacles, the world could afford separate racial and national compartments . . Now England was less than a score of hours from New York; .
American Culture in the 1940s by Jacqueline Foertsch