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The Anxious Decade. Watch some movies that were popular in the 50s. It's remarkable the level of anxiety in them. And who could be wholly surprised? The generation then in their maturity came of age in the Great Depression and the Second World War. From back into their grandfather's day the history of the world had been one long sequence of lurching from cataclysm to cataclysm: the sharp depression of the 1890s, the First World War, the Great Depression, the Second World War.
Now times were reasonably good -- but for how long? There was the Cold War, The Bomb, atomic spies, the inscrutable and menacing Red Chinese, the fight in Korea that was not going at all well. (Keep in mind MacArthur actually asked Truman to use nukes on the Chinese in Korea around about 1951-52.)