Ken Hollings – Welcome To Mars: Fantasies of Science in the American Century 1947-1959, London: Strange Attractor Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-0954805487. 312pp, illustrated, index.
Welcome to Mars is an iconoclastic, penetrating and darkly humorous history of America from 1947-1959, the decade in which the nation defined its image and created the blueprint for the world we live in today.
Welcome To Mars draws upon newspaper accounts, advertising campaigns, declassified government archives, old movies and newsreels from this unique period when the future first took on a tangible presence. Ken Hollings depicts an unsettled time in which the layout of Suburbia reflected atomic bombing strategies, bankers and movie stars experimented with hallucinogens, brainwashing was just another form of interior decoration and strange lights in the sky were taken very seriously indeed.
Seamlessly interweaving developments in technology, popular culture, politics, changes in home life, the development of the self, collective fantasy and overwhelming paranoia, Hollings has produced an alarming and often hysterically funny vision of the past that would ultimately govern all of our futures.
“Ken Hollings shows brilliantly how the extraordinary web of technologies that drove the Cold War have shaped not just our culture but the very way we think of ourselves as human beings. Welcome to Mars offers a rare and fascinating glimpse of the roots of the strange humanoid culture we live in today”. – Adam Curtis
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