The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War

The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War

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When the Second World War ended, the United states enjoyed an enormous material advantage over the rest of the world, but it was not yet a fully liberal society or a serious actor in cultural affairs. Over the next twenty years, that would change. Once relegated to the periphery, the United states moved to the center of an increasingly international world of art and ideas.

The Free World is the story of how this happened. Louis Menand analyzes the economic, demographic, and technological forces that drove social and cultural change. He introduces us to the personalities at the center of this transformation, from George Kennan, Hans Morgenthau, and Hannah Arendt to James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, and Tom Hayden. And he shows how artists and thinkers in other countries, from George Orwell and Simone de Beauvoir to John Lennon and Jacques Derrida, experted a powerful influence on postwar art and thought. It was a time when people cared, when painting mattered, movies mattered, and poetry mattered, and when ideas like liberty and authenticity were promoted and transformed. It was a vibrant period of creative innovation and intellectual debate, and it gave birth to the United States we know today.

ISBN: 9781250829641

Published Date: February 15, 2022

Publisher: Picador

Language: English

Page Count: 857

Size: 8.22" l x 5.46" w x 1.62" h