Rebels: Youth and the Cold War Origins of Identity - New Americanists (Hardback)Leerom Medovoi (author)
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Alongside the young rebel, the contemporary concept of identity emerged in the 1950s. It was in that decade that "identity" was first used to define collective selves in the politicized manner that is recognizable today: in terms such as "national identity" and "racial identity." Medovoi traces the rapid absorption of identity themes across many facets of postwar American culture, including beat literature, the young adult novel, the Hollywood teen film, early rock 'n' roll, black drama, and "bad girl" narratives. He demonstrates that youth culture especially began to exhibit telltale motifs of teen, racial, sexual, gender, and generational revolt that would burst into political prominence during the ensuing decades, bequeathing to the progressive wing of contemporary American political culture a potent but ambiguous legacy of identity politics.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 400
"This is a bold and original study of Cold War masculinity, one that will force scholars to reconsider many of their assumptions about the gender and sexual politics of Cold War culture. In showing how the 'bad boy' functioned as a sign of democratic possibility, Leerom Medovoi opens up new ways of thinking about the relation between the 1950s and 1960s."-Robert J. Corber, author of Homosexuality in Cold War America: Resistance and the Crisis of Masculinity