The Fifties

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The Fifties

Author: David Halberstam
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Copyright: 1993
Pages: 816

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The Fifties is a sweeping social, political, economic, and cultural history of the ten years that Halberstam regards as seminal in determining what our nation is today. Halberstam offers portraits of not only the titans of the age: Eisenhower Dulles, Oppenheimer, MacArthur, Hoover, and Nixon, but also of Harley Earl, who put fins on cars; Dick and Mac McDonald and Ray Kroc, who mass-produced the American hamburger; Kemmons Wilson, who placed his Holiday Inns along the nation's roadsides; U-2 pilot Gary Francis Powers; Grace Metalious, who wrote Peyton Place; and "Goody" Pincus, who led the team that invented the Pill.


Background Information

Dwight D. Eisenhower rose above many more senior American officers to become Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe and later President of the United States. John Foster Dulles served as Secretary of State under President Eisenhower and advocated liberation rather than containment of worldwide Communism. J. Robert Oppenheimer was the chief scientific adminstrator during the Manhattan Project and later the victim of suspicions against all those with politically questionable friends. Douglas MacArthur commanded American troops in the war against Japan, but was dismissed as commander in Korea by President Truman.