Friday, April 12, 2013

21 Essays on 1951

No, I’m not finished with 1954 yet.  But I’ve decided to mix things up for the spring and summer, covering both 1951 and 1954 for a little while.  The precipitating reason is that I’m scheduled to co-lead a course on “Ancient Spiritual Disciplines” at my church in a couple of weeks and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to blog about one of my favorite books, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath (1951).

June and Art Price, September 1, 1951.
So let’s look at the world in 1951…

Harry S. Truman was President of the United States in 1951.  Milton Berle was “Mr. Television.”  And my parents were married on September 1, 1951, in Riverhead, NY, as celebrated on my blog June and Art.  (Lots of great pictures there!)

On the international stage, it was the last year of implementation of the Marshall Plan in Europe, the Korean War dug into a deep and bloody stalemate, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were tried and convicted of passing nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union.  On a lighter note, Dennis the Menace and Lucy Ricardo were introduced to the world. So was Holden Caulfield.

As always, the focus of 21 Essays is very personal—I only write about subjects that particularly appeal to me. In reviewing the highlights of 1951, the following leap out at me:

--   The publication of The Sabbath by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
--   The publication of Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
--   The publication of The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
--   The release of The River
--   The release of Strangers on a Train
--   The release of Scrooge
--   The release of Early Summer
--   The release of The Man in the White Suit
--   The release of The Tales of Hoffmann
--   The release of The Thing from Another World
--   The release of An American in Paris
--   The release of Outcast of the Islands

In reality, I think I’ll be doing a bunch more 1954 essay series and only following up with a few of these 1951 ideas.  But I’m completely open to suggestions for essays on other subjects or to receiving volunteer essay contributions.  Just keep it positive—this is a place for sharing cultural history enthusiasms.

© 2013 Lee Price

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