America’s changing vision of tomorrow

The Rise and Fall of the Future: America’s Changing Vision of Tomorrow, 1939–1986 (McFarland Publishers, 2020) offers an unvarnished look at mid-20th century American futurism in U.S. culture. Written by Boston College graduate Gordon Arnold, The Rise and Fall of the Future follows how the mid-20th century American dream of comfort, convenience, and wondrous technological advancements, such as flying cars and robots, met the hard realities of the 1960s and ’70s. Optimism and Utopian dreams were refocused, according to Arnold, and futurism gave way to disillusionment. A teacher, Arnold earned a doctorate from Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. His other publications include Animation and the American Imagination, Projecting the End of the American Dream, and Conspiracy Theory in Film, Television, and Politics.

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