I have some questions:
1) America in the 1950's is referred to as "The Affluent Society." What does that mean specifically?
2) Who was excluded from this "promise" of success in America and how do the issues of race, gender, and class play out here?
3) How is this seen across what's called the "consumer culture," in the rise of the suburbs, use of land and resources, and in the popular culture?
4) The 1950's was a time when everyone supposedly liked Ike (President Eisenhower). Why was this?
5) What was President Eisenhower's approach to the Cold War?
6) What were the roots of the Vietnam Conflict?
7) What did Eisenhower mean in his Farewell Address in 1961 by the phrase "military industrial complex" and what were his warnings?
8) Have these warnings come to pass? In what ways (what are examples)?
Hi again! Thanks so much for letting me respond to your post and offer you the best I can.
1. The 1950s was a time of "booming." That means society was appearing to do well economically?more so than in any previous decade since the Gilded Age. Though really, the difference was that unlike the Gilded Age, the wealth was supposedly being amassed by the middle class. That meant more spending in the long run, which perpetuated the economy (with natural dips, of course) well into the 70s. In all honesty, it was a time where new things were being constructed all the time and due to the previous decade and some of depression, reaction to this time was likely excessive?both in consumption, and in perception.
2. As you can imagine, racism was still a major civil issue at the time. In addition to this, nationalism also still existed. Clearly, then, when I say that women were expected to be homemakers again (because WWII was over), this affluence (though middle-class) was almost entirely reserved for the white, male middle-class.
3. Excessive consumption leads to things like using resources for any reason (imagine someone hosing down a driveway). Since transportation was a "common" luxury now, highways and such sprang up so that people could live further away from their jobs. Consumer culture was driven by the ideas, desires, fits and needs of (naturally) the white, male middle-class. Controlling the means, manipulation of ...
The expert examines President Eisenhower's influence.