Blacklist: A Look at the 1947 HUAC Hearings

May 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

blak’ list n., v., list– ed, – list– ing
a list of per­sons who are under sus­pi­cion, disfavor,or censure,
or who are not to be hired, served, or oth­er­wise accepted.
—Ran­dom House Webster’s Dictionary—

Accord­ing to the experts, the start of the cold war with the Soviet Union began in July 1947 when Stalin refused to accept the Mar­shall Plan for the Soviet Union. Although Soviet—American ten­sions had been mount­ing ever since the Bol­she­vik Rev­o­lu­tion, they were briefly relaxed dur­ing the alliance to defeat Nazi Ger­many. By the spring of 1947 the eupho­ria cre­ated by the allied vic­to­ries was wan­ing. Mean­while the Soviet Union con­tin­ued its free and unabated dom­i­na­tion of a tat­tered Europe. Marx­ist prin­ci­ples appeared to be gain­ing a foothold in much of the world. It appeared to some Amer­i­cans that the ter­ri­ble sac­ri­fices by so many dur­ing the war years had been in vain. Read more

After The Apex: The End of the Studio System

February 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Mr. Bland­ings Builds His Dream House

The year is 1948. The Amer­i­can econ­omy is boom­ing. The farm­ers are pros­per­ing. Abun­dance over­all is greater than at any­time in the nation’s his­tory. The net work­ing cap­i­tal of Amer­i­can cor­po­ra­tions is at a new high of nearly $64 bil­lion. For the steel, oil, and auto­mo­bile indus­tries, 1948 is a ban­ner year. Unem­ploy­ment is below 4 per­cent. Nearly every­one who wants a job has one, and though infla­tion con­tin­ues, peo­ple are earn­ing more actual buy­ing power than ever before, and all of this fol­low­ing the record year of 1947, which, For­tune mag­a­zine reported had been the great­est pro­duc­tive record in the peace­time his­tory of this or any other nation”. In the sum­mer of 1948 Lon­don played host to the first Olympic Games since those held in Berlin in 1936. Amer­i­can ath­letes, Bob Math­ais, Har­ri­son Dil­lard, Melvin Patton-swept the track and field events, win­ning thirty-eight medals. Amer­i­can pros­per­ity, it seemed was end­less. It was a time of extra­or­di­nary tech­ni­cal and sci­en­tific achieve­ment. A 200-inch tele­scope, the world’s largest, was unveiled at Mount Palo­mar, Cal­i­for­nia. Test pilot Chuck Yea­ger, fly­ing a rev­o­lu­tion­ary rocket-plane, the Bell X-1, broke the sound bar­rier. In 1948 the tran­sis­tor was devel­oped. A new antibi­otic, Aure­omycin and Cor­ti­sone to treat rheuma­toid arthri­tis, were devel­oped. A new kind of fuel, liq­uid hydro­gen, promised, its inven­tor claimed, to “send men to the moon.” Read more

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