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Moment of Grace (book review) Michael Johns

The American City in the 1950s

291218: maybe i ordered this book. did not get it. in the years since i read it, in looking at this review, in watching some films from and of and set in the era, i try to shake my wistful dream. i mean, for many people not straight white middle-class american males, and also some who were, this is not some wonderful time, if you were anything other than that descriptor... but then i have a black american male friend who once confessed, privately, aware of absurdity, that his favorite romance is GWTW... so maybe reality has little impact on dreams... and i still dream of that era...

first review: this is a dream era for me: the last time we, as dominant western culture, believed everything in the world could be made better through rigorous application of our scientific, social, political thought. believed it was right to be rational. believed we could solve the world… and this is the same era the darkest fears of complete annihilation were rational too. i did not live then, my parents (very young) did, and sometimes despite all we have gained since then, i think of having that thoughtless faith in the human project… i would like just a taste of that optimism. i know there were many social problems then- but there seems to me in retrospect, in rose-colored glasses, that there was such a possible faith in our solving them all. as i say, as this book reminds me, maybe that was a moment of grace...

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