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September 29 , 2008

Cold War American Literature and the Rise of Youth Culture

Children of Empire


Demands placed on many young Americans as a result of the Cold War give rise to an increasingly age-segregated society. This separation allowed adolescents and young adults to begin to formulate an identity distinct from previous generations, and was a significant factor in their widespread rejection of contemporary American society.

This study traces the emergence of a distinctive post-war family dynamic between parent and adolescent or already adult child. In-depth readings of individual writers such as, Arthur Miller, William Styron, J. D. Salinger, Tennessee Williams, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac, Flannery O’Connor and Sylvia Plath, situate their work in relation to the Cold War and suggest how the figuring of adolescents and young people reflected and contributed to an empowerment of American youth. This book is a superb research tool for any student or academic with an interest in youth culture, cultural studies, American studies, cold war studies, twentieth-century American literature, history of the family, and age studies.

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