Foner’s history is neither a simplistic celebration of American freedom nor a righteous attack on American hypocrisy. It’s a study of the way freedom’s meaning has changed over the years.
Schweikart views the 1950s as a decade of tremendous upheaval - in many ways more so than the 1960s. According to him racial issues started to unravel American society, while the threat of atomic annihilation loomed. Transportation advances meant that people could--and did--travel and move with unprecedented frequency and ease. These and other factors led Americans to crave stability and reliability in other areas of their lives.