Americans' Reaction to the Cold War
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The paper explains the thesis of Elaine May's "Homeward Bound American: Families in the Cold War Era", that Americans reacted to the threat of the Cold War by 'cocooning' into suburban domesticity. The paper looks at May's evidence that women were driven by fear and a desire for security and so they accepted America's newly stringent gender norms. The paper highlights the limitations of this work and asserts that May does not entertain the prospect that perhaps women might have experienced life differently than how they reported it on surveys. The paper contends that before accepting the premise of the work, a true historian would need to delve deeper.
From the Paper:"How did Americans emotionally shift from wartime mobilization to the uneasy peace of the Cold War? According to Elaine May's Homeward Bound American: Families in the Cold War Era, Americans reacted to the threat of the Cold War by 'cocooning' into suburban domesticity. "Secure jobs, secure homes, and secure marriages in a secure country" became the priority of most Americans, at least the white, middle-class American suburbanites that are the focus of May's book (May 13). May suggests that the nearly hysterical emphasis on normalcy during the era of "Leave it to Beaver" was a reaction to the fears of the atomic age as well as an expression of relief at the end of the Great Depression and World War II. And although all Americans were affected, the role of women in particular was put under scrutiny by the media."
Sample of Sources Used:
- May, Elaine Tyler. Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era. New York: Basic Books, 1999
Cite this Book Review:
Americans' Reaction to the Cold War (2010, July 27) Retrieved December 08, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/americans-reaction-to-the-cold-war-128573/
"Americans' Reaction to the Cold War" 27 July 2010. Web. 08 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/americans-reaction-to-the-cold-war-128573/>