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> Chapter 37 > Prepare for Class
Prepare For Class

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Chapter Summary


Using the new medium of television to enhance his great popularity, grandfatherly Ike was ideally suited to soothe an America badly shaken by the Cold War and Korea. Eisenhower was slow to go after Joseph McCarthy, but the demagogues bubble finally burst. Eisenhower also reacted cautiously to the beginnings of the civil rights movement but sent troops to Little Rock to enforce court orders. While his domestic policies were moderately conservative, they left most of the New Deal in place.

Despite John Dulless tough talk, Eisenhowers foreign policies were also generally cautious. He avoided military involvement in Vietnam, although aiding Diem, and pressured Britain, France, and Israel to resolve the Suez crisis.

He also refused to intervene in the Hungarian revolt and sought negotiations to thaw the frigid Cold War. Dealing with Nikita Khrushchev proved difficult, as Sputnik, the Berlin Crisis, the U-2 incident, and Fidel Castros Cuban revolution all kept Cold War tensions high. In a tight election, Senator John Kennedy defeated Eisenhowers vice president, Richard Nixon, by calling for the country to get moving again by more vigorously countering the Soviets.

American society grew ever more prosperous in the Eisenhower era, as science, technology, and the Cold War fueled burgeoning new industries like electronics and aviation. Women joined the movement into the increasingly white-collar workforce, and chafed at widespread restrictions they faced.

A new consumer culture, centered around television, fostered a new ethic of leisure and enjoyment, including more open expressions of sexuality in popular entertainment. Intellectuals and artists criticized the focus on private affluence rather than the public good. Jewish, African American, and southern writers had a striking new impact on American culture.



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