American Culture in the 1940s by Jacqueline Foertsch

By Jacqueline Foertsch

This booklet explores the foremost cultural kinds of Forties the United States - fiction and non-fiction; tune and radio; movie and theatre; severe and well known visible arts - and key texts, tendencies and figures, from local Son to Citizen Kane, from Hiroshima to HUAC, and from Dr Seuss to Bob wish. After discussing the dominant rules that tell the Nineteen Forties the ebook culminates with a bankruptcy at the 'culture of war'. instead of splitting the last decade at 1945, Jacqueline Foertsch argues persuasively that the Nineteen Forties may be taken as an entire, searching out hyperlinks among wartime and postwar American tradition

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30 Philip Nel observes that many of Seuss’s best-known children’s books confronted its readership with ethical imperatives similar to those posed by his cartoons: ‘Most of Seuss’s books . . conclude by inviting the reader to contemplate further the book’s message. ’31 9 10 American Culture in the 1940s As complex and pointed as were opinions on these question for western thinkers throughout the war, the debate in the United States was extinguished in an instant in the early morning of 7 December 1941.

Since many of the major ‘isms’ of this decade – isolationism, interventionism, patriotism, nationalism – verged often into impassioned opinion and even irrational jingoism and paranoia, it is difficult to speak in terms of a calm and well-reasoned ‘intellectual’ history in this period; the bomb’s debut on the world stage elicited a similarly strong and diverse response – from patriotic support for atomic weaponry and energy, to existential cynicism, to anti-communist hysteria, to newly articulated fears of global destruction and urgent pleas for disarmament from the pacifist Left.

I, probably, was intemperate in my attacks on them. ’28 Once war had begun, Geisel continued to goad the advocates of isolationism, reborn as the big talkers and small thinkers who minimised the threat posed by war, and thus rationalised their attempt to evade the sacrifices required of them. In a series of ‘War Monuments’, Geisel poked fun at ‘John F. Hindsight’, ‘Walter Weeper’ (who cried crocodile tears while others bled), and the ‘Wishful Listeners’ (who ‘spent the war listening for the sudden cracking of German morale’) among others.

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