1950s Politics Sentimentalized.
Current baby-boomer nostalgia has, for the most part, washed over—and sanitized—the political history of the 1950s. When compared to the turbulent decades that would follow and the world war that had preceded in the 1940s, the 1950s would appear from the present, popular perspective to represent a peaceful interlude in twentieth-century power politics—a kind of return to innocence from which the American people would emerge the "children of Eisenhower." Indeed, two-term president Dwight D. Eisenhower, the decade's dominant political presence, was a paternal figure. Running on the 1952 Republican platform at the age of sixty-two, he was an international hero who had organized the Allied victory over the Nazis and briefly served as president of Columbia University. He had a kind face and a smile that beamed confidence and optimism. A high handicapper, he spent a good deal of time at the golf course—more time there, contended some political wags, than in the Oval Office. But if he had a weakness for play, it was something the American people were more than willing to forgive in him as a fatherly indulgence; for, as a young Jack Kerouac and an equally drunk fellow Beat poet once sarcastically phrased it in an obscene letter meant for the White House, Eisenhower was the "Great White Father."
Politics of Fear....
(The entire section is 1162 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of 1950's Government and Politics Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!