Popular Culture and Cold War - Research Article from Americans at War

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The Paranoid Style

The 1950s were a period of prosperity for American society. Many nations around the world felt the influence of American ways of life and the expressions of its culture. Yet despite American affluence, the spread of communism and the threat of global atomic war plagued Americans with a sense of constant threat both from within and without. Fiction, films, and other products of the culture reflected this fear of a possible communist invasion and atomic holocaust. The "paranoid style," which the scholar Richard Hofstadter defined as a recurrent feature of American politics culminating during the Cold War, also affected the cultural production of the era. With the end of the USSR, this paranoid style shifted its focus to the rise of international terrorism and, in the words of President George W. Bush, "the axis of evil"—a term that recalls President...

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This section contains 1,698 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Popular Culture and Cold War Encyclopedia Article
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Americans at War
Popular Culture and Cold War from Americans at War. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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