The fifties


Halberstam, David, “The fifties ,” One Book. One Author. One Hour., accessed October 7, 2022,



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The fifties


Halberstam, David


Program air date: July 11, 1993.


The Fifties is a sweeping social, political, economic, and cultural history of the ten years that David Halberstam regards as seminal in determining what our nation is today. It is the decade of Joe McCarthy and the young Martin Luther King, the Korean War and Levittown, Jack Kerouac and Elvis Presley. "Halberstam not only gives us the titans of the age - Eisenhower, Dulles, Oppenheimer, MacArthur, Hoover, and Nixon - but also 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 Francis Gary Powers; Grace Metalious, who wrote Peyton Place; and "Goody" Pincus, who led the team that invented the Pill. Here is a portrait of a time of conflict, at once an age of astonishing material affluence and a period of great political anxiety." "We follow, among other things, the quickening pace of American life and the powerful impact of national television, still in its infancy, on American society: from the Kefauver hearings to I Love Lucy to Charles Van Doren and the quiz-show scandals to the young John Chancellor of NBC covering the Little Rock riots and holding up a disturbing mirror to America."--Book jacket.


Transcription of Annotations

Notes on front flyleaf: 12 books + 50s. Notes on half-title: Chambers/His; Dien Bien Phu/ Giap; bicycle. Charles Van Doren, Herb Stempel, Dam Enright, John Kennedy/ Richard Goodwin>NBC, Twenty-One. Ozzie and Harriet, dysfunctional family. James Bassett/Pat Nixon. 800 pages Part one (22) (303), Part two (13) (225), Part three (11) (194). Inscription on t.p.: For Brian Lamb with admiration and gratitude for what he does--with esteem--David Halberstam, July 1, 1993. [p.1] One (22) (303) list of 22 names/phrases important in each chapter e.g.: 1. Hiss/Chambers, 2. Truman/Oppenheimer/Lewis Strauss, 4. Korean War, 11.MacDonalds, 12. Holiday Inns, 15. Television/Lucy, 19. Tennessee Williams--Elia Kazan, etc. Underlinings about Hiss trial and Whiiaker Chamber's book, Witness. p.[309] Two (13) (225 numbered 23-35, list of people and events important to each chapter including: 23. Richard Nixon, 25. The Shah/Mossadegh, 28. Brown v. Board/Civil Rights/Supreme Court, 29. Emmett Till, 31. Elvis Presley, 35. Sloan Wilson--Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. Role of bicycle in Vietnam. On the Road. Three (11) (194) list of names/phrases important in each chapter e.g.: 36. Martin Luther King, 27. Marilyn Monroe/Playboy magazine, 38. Peyton Place, 43. 64,000 question/Charles Van Doren, 45. Sputnik/ Gay Powers V-2, 46. Fidel Castro. Rosa Parks. Nixon-Kennedy debate image replaced printed word as natural language of politics.


"Popular culture--United States--History--20th century."
"Nineteen fifties."


Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection
Gift of Brian Lamb, 2011.


Villard Books
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives


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1st ed.