About the Book

The Noir Forties

The Noir Forties

The American People From Victory to Cold War
1st Edition
December 2012
Hardcover · 432 Pages
$29.99 U.S. · $34.50 CAN · £19.99 U.K. · €21.99 E.U.
ISBN 9781568584362
Nation Books


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From one of our finest cultural historians, The Noir Forties is a vivid reexamination of America's postwar period, that ?age of anxiety? characterized by the dissipation of victory dreams, the onset of the Red Scare, and a nascent resistance to the growing Cold War consensus.

Richard Lingeman examines a brief but momentous and crowded time, the years between VJ Day and the beginning of the Korean War, describing how we got from there to here. It evokes the social and cultural milieu of the late forties, with the vicissitudes of the New Deal Left and Popular Front culture from the end of one hot war and the beginning of the cold one'and, longer term, of a cold war that preoccupied the United States for the next fifty years. It traces the attitudes, sentiments, hopes and fears, prejudices, behavior, and collective dreams and nightmares of the times, as reflected in the media, popular culture, political movements, opinion polls, and sociological and psychological studies of mass beliefs and behavior.

About the Author

Richard Lingeman is the longtime Senior Editor of The Nation and a biographer, historian, and satirist. He began his career as an editor at Monocle magazine, and spent nine years at the New York TImes Book Review as an editor and daily reviewer. He is the author of Sinclair Lewis: Rebel from Main Street, Theodore Dreiser: An American Journey, and Double Lives: American Authors' Friendships, among other titles.