The Free World from Louis Menand is a sweeping survey that looks at how and why perceptions about the United States, both domestically and internationally, changed so completely during these years.
In his followup to the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Metaphysical Club, Menand offers a new intellectual and cultural history of the postwar years.
In his 2001 book, The Metaphysical Club, Menand offered an intellectual history of America after the Civil War by looking at a group of men whose ideas and discussions helped shape American thought.
“Now, he focuses on the years after World War II through the Vietnam War, when American culture was exported more broadly to the world,” said a review published in The New York Times.
“If you asked me when I was growing up what the most important good in life was, I would have said ‘freedom,’” he writes.
“As I got older, I started to wonder just what freedom is, or what it can realistically mean. I wrote this book to help myself, and maybe help you, figure that out.”