The Cold War was a battle of ideas, in the broadest sense—economic and political, artistic and personal—and here the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Metaphysical Club shows how changing economic, technological, and social forces put their mark on creations of the mind. Even as America's quagmire in Vietnam caused it to lose the moral prestige it enjoyed at the end of World War II, Louis Menand argues, the nation gained undisputed cultural dominance, thanks to such figures as James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, and Elvis Presley.
"Menand writes with his usual mix of colorful portraiture, shrewd insight, and pithy interpretation…. An exhilarating exploration of one of history's most culturally fertile eras."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)