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rock and roll). Internationally, America was forced to share the stage with our Allied victors from World War II. Our closest friend was Great Britain but they would spend half the Fifties literally digging out from under the rubble left behind from German bombing raids. It wasn’t until 1954 that the British ended food rationing. It was the Russians, as part of the great Soviet Union and her satellite countries of Eastern Europe that cast the biggest shadow on world politics; first with the Iron Curtain which, although not a physical barrier, presented an ideological wall between East and West. In America our distrust of the Soviets and more specifically Communism led to the “Red Scare.” Sen. Joseph McCarthy built (and lost) his political career by grandstanding against the threat. Hollywood, always a community of liberal, left-leaning thinkers, blacklisted many of its top writers in reaction to a growing public perception that there was a “Commie under every rock.” Television’s Golden Age was tarnished toward the end of the decade when it was revealed that several of the most popular quiz shows were rigging the dice, so to speak, by providing some of the contestants the answers beforehand, all for entertainment value. The “reality show” format has its beginning. Even the music industry was stung by the Payola Scandal, a “Play for Pay” system in which DJs and radio station owners had their hands greased and pockets filled by record companies to play the music of specific artists. To this stage entered a technology whose influence could not possibly

John Grantham | 51

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