While it might not have been apparent to many people at the time, American society in the 1950s was less stable than it seemed. The Depression, World War II, and the unprecedented growth and prosperity of the postwar period had wrought fundamental changes in American life. Economists, psychologists, and sociologists wrote bestselling books during the decade charging that these changes were not altogether for the better. The titles of these books—The Affluent Society (1958), The Lonely Crowd (1950), The Organization Man (1956)—became catchphrases which described the pressures and anxieties of contemporary life. A running theme throughout these works was that America was growing and changing more quickly than its citizens could comprehend.
Inner or Other.
The first of these books to appear during the decade was The Lonely Crowd (1950) by David Riesman, a sociologist from...
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