By Jacqueline Foertsch
This booklet explores the key cultural types of Forties the USA - fiction and non-fiction; song and radio; movie and theatre; critical and renowned visible arts - and key texts, developments and figures, from local Son to Citizen Kane, from Hiroshima to HUAC, and from Dr Seuss to Bob desire. After discussing the dominant rules that tell the Nineteen Forties the publication 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 can be taken as a complete, looking for hyperlinks among wartime and postwar American tradition
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Extra info for American Culture in the 1940s
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; . . ’45 The internationalising achieved by the war had multiple effects: not only were racist Americans broadcasting and even transmitting their unjust practices around the world, but the eyes of black soldiers – encountering for the first time hospitality in white homes and neighbourhoods in Europe, working compatibly with white counterparts who chose temporarily to set aside their bigotries, and feeling ‘a sense of kinship with coloured, and also oppressed, peoples of the world’46 – were opened.
3 As early as 1933, leftist Americans protested against Nazi persecution of the Jews,4 and the interventionist counter-argument was espoused by everyone from Henry R. Luce (see Chapter 1) to the future Dr Seuss (see the following case study). But it would be well into the war before German atrocities became so plainly evident that almost every US citizen felt proud to have intervened. In the late 1930s, a sizeable contingent of average Americans questioned the sacrifice being asked of them for a second time in a twenty-year time span.
Historian Richard H. Minear observes that Geisel drew for PM throughout 1941 and 1942; in the first eleven months of 1941, Geisel attacked isolationism per se; once the United States entered the war, he criticised the isolationist offshoots of complacency, over-optimism, and self-interest, all of which hampered maximum war effort. His cartoon images anticipate clearly the beaked, hunched, generically indeterminate creatures that for children and for adult readers have always rested provocatively on the threshold between the endearing and the grotesque.
American Culture in the 1940s by Jacqueline Foertsch