RE: RARA-AVIS: The Red Menace

From: Ed Lynskey (
Date: 24 Jan 2003

--- Robison Michael R CNIN <> wrote:
> Jim Doherty wrote:
> What strikes me as particularly remarkable is that the
> Cold War seems much more prevalent in '50s HB than WW2
> was in '40s crime fiction.
> *********
> I have barely scratched the surface of the genre in the
> 40s and 50s, but I was surprised how little WWII figured
> into the 40s books I read. Although casual reference
> in background material is inevitable, the war seemed
> almost not to have happened.
In the 1950s books I've read, there are passing references made to "the war." Miker has already mentioned Ross Macdonald's THE DARK TUNNEL. In the early Lew Archer novels, RM presents dispirited, angry characters who've been shaped by their WW2 experiences. John D. Macdonald does likewise. Matt Helms had some capers against Nazi/Russian Communist elements. Did the 1950s readers just want to put WW2 behind them, and authors didn't dwell on war events?

Ed Lynskey


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