Profiles in Courage Historical Context

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Cold War

After the United States ended World War II by dropping two atomic bombs on Japan, the frightening reality of atomic weaponry was undeniable. Americans believed that a strong government could only remain strong if it was backed by a strong military defense. A strong anti-communist sentiment ran through the public consciousness in the early 1950s, and the knowledge that communist nations were building up their nuclear armaments (the Soviet Union had its first successful atomic bomb test in 1949) led the United States to continue building up its own nuclear weapons stores. This effort was not only supported, but demanded, by the public, whose fear of communism was reaching hysteria. The demand for high-tech weapons was so intense, in fact, that many private companies were able to go into business making missiles and bombs. Such companies often hired retired military officers as their top executives.

As the...

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This section contains 726 words
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Buy the Profiles in Courage Study Guide
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Profiles in Courage from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.