The Human Tradition in America Since 1945

Hardback
The period since 1945 has been one of enormous change and tribulation in the United States. The country emerged from World War II as a superpower, yet is still confronted by threats from abroad. On the domestic front, in the early part of the period, a great revolution occurred in American society as women and minorities battled for legal and human rights. The challenge of teaching courses on this period is to bring some order out of the rapid change and great upheaval without losing the sense of drama and tension experienced by those who lived through it. The Human Tradition in America since 1945 provides professors with a way to help students understand both the sweeping changes and some of the individual contributions to those changes by presenting the personal stories of twelve Americans. In these brief biographical essays, students will meet a wide range of diverse individuals-both men and women, rich and poor, powerful and vulnerable-who represent key elements of post-World War II America. The volume is organized around the dual themes of power and revolution. The pieces in the first half of the book focus on the Cold War: the careers of the subjects in the first three pieces are indicative of Cold War globalism and the rise of the national security state in the early Cold War years; the next three subjects represent different reactions to American globalism and its domestic consequences. The second half of the text explores the revolutionary social reform in America. The lives of those profiled in the first three essays reveal the considerable individual sacrifice made to bring about these transformations; the remaining essays deal with how the conventional political process tried to accommodate international and domestic tensions. These original, lively essays by leading scholars put a human face on the globalism and social activism that are emblematic of America since 1945.