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“Freedom was the slogan of the instances. The phrase was invoked to justify every part,” writes Louis Menand at the beginning of his wide-ranging and endlessly fascinating historical past of post-World Warfare II tradition, The Free World: Artwork and Thought within the Chilly Warfare. After years of financial deprivation, mass slaughter in two world wars, and the persevering with destructive, repressive instance of the Soviet Union, a lot of the “free world” was able to bust out into one thing new and completely different.
The Pulitzer-winning creator, Harvard professor, and New Yorker contributor discusses how main figures and actions similar to Lionel Trilling and different literary and cultural critics, Allen Ginsberg and the Beats, Andy Warhol and the pop artwork motion, James Baldwin and black protest artists, Betty Friedan and feminists, the Beatles and pop musicians pushed all types of boundaries in relentless makes an attempt to precise themselves and radically remodel cultural, financial, and political life. He talks with Nick Gillespie about how these quests took on distinct however associated kinds relying on the backgrounds of the individuals concerned, and the way understanding them is crucial to understanding up to date America.