The Twilight of the American Enlightment

February 23rd, 2014
For those that didn’t live through the 50’s and early 60’s, Mad Men has given us a clearer idea of so many of the changes that were impacting the nation and the culture.

The post war period freed up Americans.  We were no longer bound by the needs of the war and the depression that preceded it.  Television, labor saving appliances, medical breakthroughs and a new sense of tolerance would begin to change America.

George Marsden, in his new work The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief, argues that the 1950’s marked the end of an era.  That we became a much more pluralistic culture and that the ways in which the political and social leaders of the time approached these changes, has
given rise to many of the problems and divisions we face today.

My conversation with George Marsden: