The Publicity Of The Cold War On The 1959 Cover Of Life Magazine Essay

The Publicity Of The Cold War On The 1959 Cover Of Life Magazine Essay

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The publicity stunt featured on the 1959 cover of Life magazine would have been a very odd scene for today’s society. The popular magazine displayed a photo of a young couple about to embark on their very own “sheltered honeymoon” (May 1). The happy newlyweds were captured posing in their backyard lawn dressed in acceptable honeymoon attire surrounded by an array of foods, utensils, and other commodities that would be brought with them down into the bomb shelter for the duration of their honeymoon. The profound concept of a honeymoon being spent underground in a confined space is fascinating in a strange way. What caused society to feel that this would be an appropriate cover to “Life” during the 1950s? In short, what Americans craved during the beginning of the cold war was escape from the past and security for the future. Life’s cover symbolized exactly what Americans aspired to obtain. American culture was altered to offer citizens a sense of security during an era when the threat of nuclear annihilation loomed over the entire country. Furthermore, freedom changed to an idea that supported positive freedoms and reflect a security driven culture. Above all else, Americans desired a sense of security which was achieved through the means of containment, family dynamics, and an expanded idea of freedom during the 1950s.
Security is what Americans desired and their perceptions of freedom reflected that. Freedom during the 1950s took concepts from the Great Depression as well as the Second World War and extended them. Amid the bleak years of the Great Depression, Americans began to search for a new escape from their current predicament. President Herbert Hoover’s hands off method was clearly ineffective. Homeless shantytowns became...


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...he 1950s Americans culture reflected a nationwide ambition for security. First of all, containment was designed to defeat the fears of communism across the world and secure the United State influence. However, it also came to be domesticated in order to preserve traditional values in a changed post war world. Secondly, family dynamics revealed their desire since emphasized gender roles enabled containment to provide a sense of security. Containment was America’s key to security and Cold War culture transformed to reflect that. Finally, growing off of idea of positive freedoms that began during the Great Depression and Second World War, the nation morphed to fulfil its pursuit for protection. Given these points it is clear that Americans strived to find security that the bomb shelter honeymoon symbolized in a chaotic era through means culture and concepts of freedom.

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