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There is an enotes study guide to Halberstam's The Fifties at the following link:
This guide includes an overview of the book, and it notes the theme that runs though Halberstam's work--the development of television, mass media, and advertising that blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. This study guide also includes references to articles that review Halberstam's book. For example, here is the link to the June 20, 1993, New York Times review of Halberstam's book:
This review makes sense of Halberstam's long book by stating that it is a series of mini-biographies of important figures of the decade, including Harry Truman, General Douglas MacArthur, Richard Nixon, Joseph McCarthy, and others. The reviewer also notes that Halberstam covered the south from 1955 to 1960 as a reporter, and Halberstam called on this experience to write about the gruesome murder of Emmett Till and the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957-1958.
I found this link to an interesting looking reading guide. It will point you in the right direction. Sometimes just having questions about the book helps you gague your understanding and focus on what's important.
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