For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Loss of Innocence
America's Scandals in the Post-War Years
  • Melvin E. Matthews Jr.
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Loss of Innocence. America's Scandals in the Post-War Years
Sound Bite
On two separate occasions during a six-month interval from November 1959 to May 1960, the American people became aware of what was, for that time, a shocking reality: to their disbelief, they learned that their institutions didn;¢t always tell them the truth. The major scandals examined in this book were played out against the backdrop of the Cold War. Their immediate impact was to call into question some black-and-white assumptions: that Americans told the truth and trusted their government to always do the right thing.

About the Author

Melvin E. Matthews Jr. is a freelance writer who has been studying American cultural trends of the 1950s for forty years. The eerie fact is that a complacent population was addictively drawn to fantasies and improbable scenarios on the screen - with the "willing suspension of disbelief" - while just such implausible stories in the news were swallowed just the same, without batting an eye or raising one question. Is there a circular cause-and-effect cycle here, so that the gullible become more and more accustomed to believing whatever they are told?

About the Book
When the War ended, the United States still had its economy, infrastructure and industry intact. Taking up where the British Empire left off, the powerful new America expanded its influence around the globe. Suddenly light years ahead of any...
When the War ended, the United States still had its economy, infrastructure and industry intact. Taking up where the British Empire left off, the powerful new America expanded its influence around the globe. Suddenly light years ahead of any competitor, Americans abandoned themselves to a haze of consumerism and entertainment, trusting that they were safe and could not be harmed. Then they discovered that the contestants on the big-money quiz shows, a wildly successful format of Ã?¢'¬Ã??50s television, turned out to be fakes. Matthews reveals how shocked they were to be woken from this stupor by the news that some of their TV idols, as well as the respected executives who ran the TV programs, had been systematically lying and cheating. It was like learning that Santa Claus was a fraud, all over again. Not only had these popular folk heroes been given the answers to the questions they were asked on-air, they had been coached as to how they were to conduct themselves during their broadcast appearances. Far worse was yet to come. Shortly after the Quiz Show scandal, the United States government was caught in a lie regarding the activities of the CIA's U-2 reconnaissance planes overflying the Soviet Union on intelligence-gathering missions. On the eve of a crucial summit meeting in 1960, the USSR knocked a US spy plane out of the sky and recovered the pilot, Gary Powers - as well as plenty of incriminating hardware and data. Moscow delayed revealing what it knew, and Washington spent ten days denying it was a spy plane, then denying that President Eisenhower was aware of it. Soon, American schoolchildren were being taught to duck under their desks if a bomb should strike. Fear began to percolate into the heart of the nation.
Pages 220
Year: 2019
BISAC: POL031000  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism & Patriotism
BISAC: POL064000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / Corruption & Misconduct
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-350-4
Price: USD 21.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-383-2
Price: USD 31.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-1-62894-356-6
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