By Gary A. Donaldson
The United States had tremendous opportunities after World War II. The nation's industrial might, geared to defeat Germany and Japan, could now be focused on domestic production. Real wages were up, the GNP was on the rise, industrial production was up, and inflation was under control. The future looked bright for the average American. But this abundance was punctuated with anxiety. Within four years of the end of the war, the Soviet Union had become the new enemy: they had the bomb and China and Eastern Europe had fallen into the Soviet sphere of influence. These two points, the abundance of the growing economy and the anxiety of the Cold War, defined the period from 1945-1960.