* This text is a sample of writing from my postgraduate thesis project. The project took the form of a reader, in which I selected and introduced five essays written by iconic American writers originally appearing in the post-war travel magazine, Holiday. This particular excerpt is from the overall introduction, which primes the reader on Holiday magazine as a publication and contextualizes the post-war years in American cultural life. Additional excerpts from my thesis project can be found on the home page.
It is difficult to generalize any historical moment, and even more difficult when that moment encompassed such significant transformation: politically, socially, morally. The decades succeeding World War II in the United States ushered in a new prosperity, such that the American people had never before experienced. The war was over, and the United States was in a position of great power. After years of economic strain following the Great Depression and the austerity of the Second World War, however, many Americans felt anxious and uncertain about whether their newfound financial flourish would last. 1945 welcomed the victory of the allied nations, and thus commenced the most ambitious, affluent and complex era in American history.