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Resources

Berhard, Nancy E. U.S. Television News and Cold War Propaganda, 1947-1960. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Berhard’s book provided information regarding the emergence of nightly news and how Americans saw the rising international tensions unfold on the screen. This source was particularly useful when researching the kitchen debate and how the general population agreed with Nixon that Americans experienced a greater quality of life than Russians due to consumer spending. The emergence of television changed how Americans obtained the daily news, and Americans now could access information more quickly especially regarding international events. Americans could now also see the unfolding drama between the Soviet Union and the United States in the comfort of their living room.

Cohen, Lizabeth. A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America. New York: Knopf, 2003.

A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America offered background information about economic policy and the Keynesian consensus during the postwar period. Additionally, Cohen contextualized the consumer culture of the 1950s and how this spending consensus penetrated many areas of American life including foreign policy. This information was mostly included in the introduction and the “Television at Home and Abroad” section of the exhibit. 

Halliwell, Martin. American Culture in the 1950s. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Halliwell’s book focused on topics such as the rise of television advertisements and provided information in the advertisement portion of the exhibit. Advertising erupted because television provided a new outlet for marketers, and commercials became a major component of everyday life. Because Americans were watching about four to five hours of television daily, this exposed them to catchy jingles and ads, which further increased demand for consumer goods.

Marling, Karal. As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994.

This source provided information about the general history of the television and why it became such a popular entertainment medium during the 1950s. Karal also writes about popular television programs such as I Love Lucy and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. This source also discusses how television programs, especially situation comedies, influenced the family. 

May, Elaine Tyler. Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era. New York: Basic, 2008.

Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era discussed the importance of the family politically, economically, and socially during the Cold War era. May stresses the importance of the consumer consensus and how this affected families, specifically women in the home. Although this paper does not discuss in depth the role of women during the 1950s, it provided context when examining images of families and the roles that each member played.

Melanson, Richard, and David Allan Mayers. Reevaluating Eisenhower: American Foreign Policy in the 1950s. Urbana: University of Illinois, 1987.

Reevaluating Eisenhower: American Foreign Policy in the 1950s provided information regarding the Eisenhower administration’s stance on foreign policy. Eisenhower was a strict cold warrior and made clear that America must maintain and expand military strength in order to meet the communist threat. Eisenhower with the help of Nixon heated Cold War tensions with their strong anti-communist rhetoric. This administration made the connection between military spending and a sound American economy.

Patterson, James T. Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Patterson provided general background information throughout this exhibit about America’s rising prestige and affluence during the 1950s. This source also provided statistics and data about the economy which were helpful when researching the United States’s post-war economic successes.  

Phillips, Sarah. Kitchen Debate and Cold War Consumer Politics: A Brief History with Documents. Massachusetts: Bedford, 2014.

Phillips’ book provided images and documents about how the public viewed the kitchen debate. Although there was no clear winner, this debate was a highly successful propaganda victory in the media because it validated that consumerism was beneficial for the overall health of the economy.

Schloming, Gordon Clark. 1987. American foreign policy and the Nuclear Dilemma. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Orentice-Hall.

Schloming’s book provided context regarding Eisenhower’s Cold War policies and evaluating his administration. This source discusses the kitchen debate but mainly analyzes Eisenhower rather than Nixon.

Schwartz, Richard Alan. Cold War Culture: Media and the Arts, 1945-1990. New York: Facts on File, 1998.

This source provided general background information about how the media influenced American’s perception of the Cold War. Before the rise of television, American’s obtained news from radio, newspapers, and the radio. Television greatly changed how Americans viewed international events because correspondents would discuss news topics during the nightly news and provide moving pictures to contextualize events. 

Salamone, Frank A. Popular Culture in the Fifties. Lanham, MD: U of America, 2001.

This source helped solidify the overall topic of this exhibit because it discussed the importance of different media outlets of the 1950s. Although radio, movie theaters, and newspapers were still present, the television became the most popular media outlet because it was relatively inexpensive to purchase and Americans would no longer have to leave the comfort of their home for entertainment.

Resources