The 1950s are often portrayed as an era of conformity and cultural stagnation, but this cliché has little basis in fact. Although McCarthyism may have been a low point in recent American political culture, it contributed in subtle ways to the era’s significant but often under-appreciated innovations in music, literature, and drama.

Irving Louis Horowitz was the Hannah Arendt Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Political Science and Chairman and Editorial Director of Transaction Publishers.
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