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The Square Root of Wonderful Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Square Root of Wonderful.
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Historical Context

During the 1950s, America experienced unprecedented economic growth. Increased government spending on defense projects, home loans, and social programs, as well as rocketing demands for consumer goods, fueled this boom. Worker productivity rose; with only 6 percent of the world's population, the United States produced 50 percent of its goods. Between 1945 and 1960, the median family income in the United States doubled. The birth rate soared, peaking in 1957, when a baby was born approximately every seven seconds. Within this context, though, certain social elements were changing.

Individualism versus Conformity

One of the primary complaints about American society in the 1950s was that people were experiencing severe pressure to conform to conventional values. The rugged individualist was a dying breed in the United States, according to some social theorists, replaced by men and women who wanted more to .t in than to stand out.

David Reisman, a University of Chicago sociologist, and...

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This section contains 480 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Square Root of Wonderful Study Guide
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The Square Root of Wonderful from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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