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At first, artists expressed their anger, anxiety, and despair in familiar terms that addressed nuclear reality only indirectly. But Henriksen focuses primarily on new modes of expression that emerged, discussing the disturbing themes of film noir (with extended attention to Alfred Hitchcock) and science fiction films, Beat poetry, rock 'n' roll, and Pop Art. Black humor became a primary weapon in the cultural revolution while literature, movies, and music gave free rein to every possible expression of the generation gap. Cultural upheavals from "flower power" to the civil rights movement accentuated the failure of old values.
Filled with fascinating examples of cultural responses to the Atomic Age, Henriksen's book is a must-read for anyone interested in the United States at mid-twentieth century.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: United States Civilization 1945-Cold War Social aspects United States, Atomic bomb Social aspects United States, Atomic bomb Moral and ethical aspects United States