Synopses & Reviews
is a sweeping social, political, economic, and cultural history of the ten years that Halberstam regards as seminal in determining what our nation is today. Halberstam offers portraits of not only the titans of the age: Eisenhower Dulles, Oppenheimer, MacArthur, Hoover, and Nixon, but also of Harley Earl, who put fins on cars; Dick and Mac McDonald and Ray Kroc, who mass-produced the American hamburger; Kemmons Wilson, who placed his Holiday Inns along the nation's roadsides; U-2 pilot Gary Francis Powers; Grace Metalious, who wrote Peyton Place; and "Goody" Pincus, who led the team that invented the Pill.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"The Fifties were more than just a mid-point decade in a century; they were to be the crucible in which the rest of the 20th century was forged. Halberstam here touches every thread in the warp and woof of the national fabric....A superb book." Library Journal
"Compulsively readable, with familiar events and people grown fresh in the telling." Kirkus Reviews
"Fascinating...The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist leaves no stone of the '50s unturned." The Washington Post Book World
"An engrossing sail across a pivotal decade." Time
"Outstanding...As journalist David Halberstam shows in his latest work, events and key personalities during the '50s not only made the revolutionary '60s happen, they were also as full of ground-breaking episodes as any decade in 20th-century American history." The Christian Science Monitor
"Engaging...The message here is that the 1950s were not years of innocence but rather years when innocence was lost." The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Fresh, dramatic...[Halberstam's] portrait of a decade is vivid and beguiling." The New York Times
"Sinfully entertaining...Loaded with narrative horsepower...The only thing it's lacking is a pair of fuzzy dice." Newsweek
Includes bibliographical references (p. -745) and index.
About the Author
David Halberstam graduated from Harvard, where he had served as managing editor of the daily Harvard Crimson. It was 1955, a year after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools. Halberstam went south and began his career as the one reporter on the West Point, Mississippi, Daily Times Leader. He was fired after ten months there and went to work for The Nashville Tennessean. When the sit-ins broke out in Nashville in February 1960, he was assigned to the story as principal reporter. He joined the New York Times later that year, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his early reports from Vietnam. He has received every other major journalistic award, and is a member of the Society of American Historians.