What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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Suggest books for me > Looking for books about American life in the 1940s-1950s

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message 1: by Maggie (new)

Maggie (magwag) | 13 comments As the title suggests, I'm looking for books about American life in the 40s-50s (overlap into the 30s and 60s is OK too). I know of a few historical books that mainly address major changes in those time periods or the moods/emotions/experiences of certain groups during the time period, but I'm really looking for a book that would be more like an ethnography into the daily lives of an average American anytime in those decades. Topics I'd specifically be interested in might be brand and product usage, chores and household trends, schooling, child rearing and elderly care, "leisure" activities outside of the home, life before supermarkets, etc (just to name a few).


message 2: by SH (new)

SH | 3 comments "Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America" by Laura Shapiro might interest you... it's about how the food industry worked to market new, processed foods to Americans after the second World War. Really interesting stuff!


message 3: by Maggie (new)

Maggie (magwag) | 13 comments That sounds just like the sort of thing I'm looking for, thank you!


message 4: by Rosa (new)

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5206 comments Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America for the link.
And this may sound funny because it's a cookbook, but Square Meals: America's Favorite Comfort Cookbook would be great. The chapters "Victory Dinner" and "The Cuisine of Suburbia" are just what you're looking for.


message 5: by Maggie (new)

Maggie (magwag) | 13 comments Thanks Rosa, added it to my list !


message 6: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 39310 comments Mod
Since you mentioned child rearing, the most famous child rearing book of all time is probably Baby and Child Care, published in 1946.


message 7: by Janice (last edited Oct 04, 2017 08:33PM) (new)

Janice  | 12 comments Vintage memoirs are my favorite. I highly recommend any of Betty MacDonald's memoirs, starting with The Egg and I, as well as books by Emily Kimbrough. Also, Shirley Jackson's books about raising children, during the 40's and 50's, are two of the funniest books I've ever read. They are called Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons.


message 12: by Maggie (new)

Maggie (magwag) | 13 comments Wow, thanks for the responses everyone, I'm checking out all of the recommendations now!


message 14: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 6967 comments Mod
Fair Exchange might work. It's about 2 classes of seniors in high school who set up a "student exchange" so that they can each see how people in other parts of the country live.


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