1948-1960 Affluence

America boomed as the world's economic superpower even as it contended with the specter of expanding Communist empires

THE NATION

The Boom in Bloom

In New England woods the fiddlehead ferns were unfolding, and blankets of wisteria spread over the houses. Outside Santa Fe, ribbons of green laced the brown adobe on the flatlands, and here and there the full-flowering lilacs formed purple buttons. On riverbanks of the Northwest, wild rhododendrons, spiraling up to 30 feet, were spreading red and pink and white blooms two hands wide. Spring was full blown, and the nation's prevailing mood seemed to be as bright as its blossoms.

The people of the U.S. had never been so prosperous. Never before had the breadwinner...

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