Attention: We can only offer STORE CREDIT for books at this time.
 

20th Century: 1950-1990

If we watch American TV sitcoms from the 1950s we're apt to assume those were golden years of plenty, downhome wisdom, somewhat stilted humor, and easily overcome obstacles. Also, all women were pretty, all dads were successful, all girls knew how to cook and sew, and all boys had a crystal radio, grease under his fingernails, and rolled jeans cuffs.

This was what is known by psychologists as denial. But, coming home after the biggest war ever fought, could you blame the citizen G.I.'s for wanting to forget what they never wanted to know in the first place? Unfortunately for the places that war was fought, forgetting and moving forward wasn't quite as easy. It wasn't easy at all, in fact.

Right off the bat, the Communists started to take over. Winston Churchill had seen this coming, but his fellow world leaders failed to heed his warnings, and the next thing they knew the Reds had taken over North Korea and were moving into South Korea. The ensuing Korean War (1950-1953) was essentially a war between the Red Chinese and the United States over whether South Korea would become a Communist nation or not.

Technically the war was never resolved (to this day, no treaty or surrender has been signed; we're in the midst of an impossibly long cease fire), but it set a precedent among free-world nations: Communism was their responsibility to stop, and they would do so wherever it presented itself as a threat. This interventionist mentality was rationalized by the "domino effect," the idea that if one country fell to Communism, all the others around it would quickly follow suit, tumbling over like a series of dominoes.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme Allied commander during World War II and president of the U.S. during the Korean War, was the first to put the doctrine into words. France and the United Kingdom were also proponents of the theory, though whether they were as altruistic as the U.S. is another question—both nations still had a large colonial and post-colonial interest in many of the countries in question.

Not least of these was Vietnam. By the time the U.S. entered the conflict, France had already fought a long war known as the First Indochina War in North Vietnam (1946-1954), asserting their colonial control; they lost. So did the Americans, but they stuck around for 19 1/2 years (1955-1975) in an effort to stem the tide of Communism.

What exactly was everyone so afraid of? Genocide, for one thing: wherever Communism went, it brought massive population reduction in the form of mass executions, torture, political killings, forced labor, and imprisonment. Authoritarianism must eliminate any threat to absolute control, and that's exactly what men like Mao Zedong, Josef Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-sung, and Pol Pot did.

The other major reason was quite different. The fantasy world of the '50s ideal would not stand, nor would physical prosperity be possible, in a country under Communist rule. In order to forget the Great Depression and the World Wars, it was necessary for capitalism to thrive and grow. Liberty and prosperity were the catch-phrases of the day.

Liberty took on interesting meaning in the 1960s. Counter-culture movements sprouted up, the result of kids misunderstanding and reacting (sometimes legitimately) against their parents' materialism. Sexual mores were more publicly loosened, drugs were seen as a means to freedom and enlightenment, and doing what you wanted became the rule of the day.

Nothing changed much in the 1970s or '80s, except that bad behavior became increasingly acceptable and public. Looming over the entire landscape was the Cold War, and there was a sense that it was playtime before the apocalypse. But 1990 rolled around, and the only apocalypse was the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the break-up of the Eastern Bloc (the Eastern European Communist countries).

In the end, the demise of Communism was more subtle than bombs or invasions. Ironically, capitalism itself contributed to its downfall; Communist countries found that a measure of market economics was necessary to sustain nations long term, and some abandoned the Communist project altogether, while others simply incorporated capitalist practices into the Communist framework. This is part of the answer to Communist China's continued existence and success.

The last half of the 20th century was kind of the Age of Communism. But it was also the age of postmodernism, with its emphasis on personal liberty without culpability, moral relativity, and relativity in general. Both ideologies continue to spread and to influence people and nations; in such a climate, the only response for Christians is to counter with the truth of the Gospel, not as a competing ideology, but as the only reality in a world overtaken by contrasting political theories and comparative religions.

Did you find this review helpful?
175 Items found Print
10,000 Days of Thunder
by Philip Caputo
1st edition from Atheneum
for 5th-10th grade
in Vietnam War (1957-1975) (Location: B01-26C)
$24.95 $16.00 (1 in stock)
1963 Civil Rights March
Events That Shaped America
by Sabrina Crewe, Scott Ingram
from Gareth Stevens Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
A is for Atom
by Greg Paprocki
Brdbk from Gibbs M. Smith
for Nursery-Kindergarten
in Board Books (Location: CPB-01A)
$9.99
Always to Remember
by Brent Ashabranner
from Scholastic Inc.
for 7th-9th grade
in Vietnam War (1957-1975) (Location: B01-26C)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
America and Vietnam
by Albert Marrin
from Beautiful Feet Books
Historical Non-Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Vietnam War (1957-1975) (Location: B01-26C)
$13.95 $9.50 (1 in stock)
America's Longest War
by George C. Herring
2nd edition from McGraw-Hill
for 11th-Adult
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
America's Wars - CD
1997 Credenda/Agenda History Conference
by Doug Wilson, Tom Garfield & Steve Wilkins
from Canon Press
for 9th-Adult
$22.40
America: From Gridlock to Deadlock
A Basic History of the United States Volume 6
by Clarence B. Carson
from American Textbook Committee
American History Reference for 9th-Adult
in Basic History of the United States (Location: B04-02A)
$16.00
And the Word Came With Power
by Joanne Shetler, Patricia Purvis
from Wycliffe Bible Translators
for 2nd-12th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$8.50 (3 in stock)
Beatles (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)
by Mike Venezia
from Children's Press
in Music History (Location: AMU-05C)
Bruchko
by Bruce Olson
from Charisma House
Biography for 10th-Adult
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$14.99 $10.00 (1 in stock)
Bruchko
by Bruce Olson
Updated from Charisma House
for 10th-Adult
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$7.00 (4 in stock)
Called to Die
by Steve Estes
First Edition from Wycliffe Bible Translators
for 9th-12th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Cart That Carried Martin
by Eve Bunting
from Charlesbridge
for 3rd-6th grade
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Cesar Chavez
by Ruth Franchere
from Thomas Y. Crowell &Co.
for 1st-3rd grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Children of the Storm
by Natasha Vins
from Bob Jones University Press
Autobiography for 8th-10th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$8.99
Civil Rights Movement for Kids
by Mary C. Turck
1st edition from Chicago Review Press
for 3rd-8th grade
in Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) (Location: B01-27A)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Countdown
by Deborah Wiles
1st edition from Scholastic Press
for 6th-9th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Creative Haven Fabulous Fashions of the 1950's
Creative Haven
by Ming-Ju Sun
from Dover Publications
for 5th-Adult
in Adult Coloring Books (Location: ACB)
$4.49
Cuban Missile Crisis
by Karl E. Valois
from History Compass
Historical Non-Fiction for 6th-9th grade
in 20th Century America (Location: B01-22A)
$7.95
Destination: Moon
by James Irwin
from Vision Forum
Biography for 4th-8th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
DK Eyewitness: Vietnam War
DK Eyewitness Series
by Stuart Murray
from DK Publishing
HIstory Reference for 4th-8th grade
in Vietnam War (1957-1975) (Location: B01-26C)
$16.99
Douglas MacArthur
by Clark Lee, Richard Henschel
from Henry Holt and Company
for 9th-Adult
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech in Translation
by Leslie J. Holland
from Capstone Press
in Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) (Location: B01-27A)
$6.36
Dream of Freedom
for 7th-12th grade
in Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) (Location: B01-27A)
$10.00 (2 in stock)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
by Jack C. Harris
from Golden Books
for Preschool-3rd Grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Echoes of the White Giraffe
by Sook Nyul Choi
Reprint from HMH Books for Young Readers
for 4th-7th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$10.95
Eighty-Dollar Champion
by Elizabeth Letts
Reprint from Ballantine Books
for 9th-Adult
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Fallen Angels
by Walter Dean Myers
from Scholastic Inc.
for 11th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$7.99
Five Bold Freedom Fighters
by Wade Hudson
from Cartwheel Books
for 1st-2nd grade
in Scholastic / Hello Reader! (Location: CPB-05E)
$1.00 (1 in stock)
Francis Schaeffer
by Bruce Little, ed.
from P&R Publishing
for 10th-Adult
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$12.99
Freedom on the Menu
by Carole Boston Weatherford
Reprint from Puffin Books
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) (Location: B01-27A)
$4.79 $3.20 (1 in stock)
Freedom Summer
by Deborah Wiles
Reprint from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 1st-3rd grade
in Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) (Location: B01-27A)
Freedom Walkers
by Russell Freedman
from Holiday House
for 4th-6th grade
in Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) (Location: B01-27A)
$14.95
Freedom's Children
by Ellen Levine
from Penguin Putnam
Biography for 4th-8th grade
in Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) (Location: B01-27A)
$7.99
Freedom's Children
by Ellen Levine
from Avon Books
for 6th-9th grade
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Girl in the Picture
by Denise Chong
from Charles Scribner's Sons
for 10th-Adult
in Clearance: History & Biographies (Location: BLG-07D)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Glory Be
by Augusta Scattergood
Reprint from Scholastic Press
for 4th-7th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
$6.99
God and Ronald Reagan
by Paul Kengor
Reprint from Harper Perennial
for 9th-Adult
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$15.99
God's Smuggler
by Brother Andrew
from Chosen Books
Biography for 7th-Adult
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$14.99
Gold Cadillac
by Mildred D. Taylor
from Scholastic Inc.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
$1.40 (1 in stock)
Gold Cadillac
by Mildred D. Taylor
Reprint from Puffin Books
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
$6.39
Golden Book History of the United States Volume 10
from Golden Press
for 3rd-6th grade
Gone Crazy in Alabama
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Reprint from Amistad Press
for 4th-7th grade
Coretta Scott King Award
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Great Republic
by Winston Churchill
from Modern Library
American History Reference for 11th-Adult
in American History Reference (Location: B04-03C)
$16.95
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer
from Sun Dial Press
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
$16.00
Heroes for Civil Rights
First Edition from Holiday House
for 3rd-5th grade
in Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) (Location: B01-27A)
$4.80 (1 in stock)
Historical Sticker Dolly Dressing: 1950s Fashion
from Usborne
for 1st-4th grade
in Usborne Sticker Books (Location: A01-01A)
History of the Civil Rights Movement - Coloring Book
by Steven James Petruccio
from Dover Publications
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: A01-DOV)
$3.19
History of US Book 10
History of US Book 10
by Joy Hakim
3rd Revised Edition from Oxford University
American History Reference for 5th-9th grade
in History of US (Location: B04-03E)
$11.00 (1 in stock)
1234