America in the immediate postwar period was a peculiar mix of material abundance and mass-culture distractions. Under the safety net of 1950s America, anti-communist paranoia and disquiet about racism was festering. ‘1945–1968: Affluence and social unrest‘ looks at the turbulent years which followed World War II in American life. By the 1960s, activist aspirations produced a surge in reform legislation, civil rights protests and anti-war demonstrations. In 1968, the response to this was a sharp conservative shift in life and culture. The 1960s was a decade of much turmoil and violence but it was also a decade of progressive reform and blows against racism.