“America at this moment,” said the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1945, “stands at the summit of the world.” During the 1950s, it was easy to see what Churchill meant. The United States was the world’s strongest military power. Its economy was booming, and the fruits of this prosperity–new cars, suburban houses and other consumer goods–were available to more people than ever before. However, the 1950s were also an era of great conflict. For example, the nascent civil rights movement and the crusade against communism at home and abroad exposed the underlying divisions in American society.
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