American Culture in the 1940s by Jacqueline Foertsch

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By Jacqueline Foertsch

This ebook explores the most important cultural varieties of Nineteen Forties the United States - fiction and non-fiction; tune and radio; movie and theatre; severe and well known visible arts - and key texts, traits 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 booklet 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 will be taken as a complete, looking for hyperlinks among wartime and postwar American tradition

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77 The narrative follows six survivors – two doctors, two churchmen, a clerical worker, and a housewife selected by Hersey primarily for being ‘good interview subjects’78 – from the moment of the blast into the days and months of the early recovery period. Dr Fujii was enjoying a peaceful morning on the deck of his private hospital; Dr Sasaki walked along a hospital corridor, and Father Kleinsorge read the paper as he reclined in his underwear when the bomb struck. ) Reverend Tanimoto was helping a neighbour to move his possessions to an outlying area, Ms Sasaki was just beginning work; and Mrs Nakamura was awake but worn out by a night disturbed by multiple air raids.

2 One key event from the dawn of the decade was the appearance of silent-film mogul Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940), a famous scene from which is captured on this book’s cover. To the strains of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin Overture, the mad dictator Adenoid Hynkel does a dance of erotic conquest with a lightweight, inflatable globe. Lofting it into the air, embracing it sensuously, Hynkel (a parody of Hitler, played by Chaplin, who bore him a disturbing resemblance) dreams of world takeover, but is clapped into a concentration camp by his own storm troopers who mistake him for a humble Jewish barber (also played by Chaplin).

Yet, as opposed to the almost friendly takeover or Anschlüss of Austria and Czechoslovakia (the latter given to Hitler by the British in a morally fraught gesture of appeasement), Poland had special arrangements with France and Great Britain – the United States’ two closest allies – who proceeded to declare war on Germany on 3 September. Their declaration intensified a debate in the United States that had divided the nation bitterly since the end of the Great War in 1918: whether to maintain an isolationist stance in all future European wars or to rejoin the fray so as to attempt once more to quash the mania for territorial expansion that had never relinquished its hold upon the German people and especially their iconoclastic leaders.

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