Saul Bellow     Hugh Hefner     Playboy     Fahrenheit 451     Ray Bradbury     Allen Ginsberg     William S. Burroughs     Childhood's End     Arthur C. Clarke     The Crucible     Arthur Miller

1953 Fifties

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1950s Books

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Fiction 1953


james baldwin 1953Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin - A somewhat autobiographical novel of Baldwin's life coming of age in Harlem in the 1930's. The good and bad of Christianity in the Black experience and the effects of racism. One of Americas Great Books. James Baldwin


adventures of augie march 1953The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow - A Jewish coming of age novel taking place in Chicago during the Great Depression. A story of identity of what being American means and the ability to map one's own future. Another of American Great Books. Saul Bellow


fahrenheit 451 1953Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - A classic Science Fiction novel of a future America where books and reading are outlawed. Fireman roam the land collecting and burring books on the spot. To thwart the mindless Law and Order anti-intellectualism, groups of people form up in rural areas where each picks a book to memorize and teach to the next generation. Fahrenheit 451.


childhoods end 1953Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke - This is often referred to as THE classic Sci Fi novel. In the throes of the Cold War ALiens called the Overlords sit in orbit above Earth claiming to save it from self destruction. Suspicion reigns as the Overloads refuse to allow Earth to see them. That "hook" you will have to find out by reading this wonderful book. Arthur C. Clark


Sholom Aleichem - Adventures of the Cantor's Son
Isaac Asimov - Second Foundation
Alfred Bester - The Demolished Man
Zealia Bishop - The Curse of Yig
Ray Bradbury - The Golden Apples of the Sun
Gwendolyn Brooks - Maud Martha
John Dickson Carr - The Cavalier's Cup
Raymond Chandler - The Long Goodbye
Agatha Christie - A Pocket Full of Rye

Agatha Christie - After the Funeral
Arthur C. Clarke - Against the Fall of Night
Beverly Cleary - Otis Spofford
Ivy Compton-Burnett - The Present and the Past
A. J. Cronin - Beyond This Place
Ian Fleming - Casino Royale
Ernest K. Gann - The High and the Mighty
Davis Grubb - The Night of the Hunter
Mark Harris - The Southpaw
L. P. Hartley - The Go-Between
James Hilton - Time and Time Again
David Karp - One
Ira Levin - A Kiss Before Dying
C. S. Lewis - The Silver Chair
Zoe B. Oldenbourg - The Cornerstone
Mervyn Peake - Mr Pye
Ellery Queen - The Scarlet Letters
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - The Sojourner
Samuel Shellabarger - Lord Vanity
Wilmar H. Shiras - Children of the Atom
Rex Stout - The Golden Spiders
Leon Uris - Battle Cry
Boris Vian - Heartsnatcher
A. E. van Vogt - The Universe Maker
Evelyn Waugh - Love Among the Ruins
Ben Ames Williams - The Unconquered
John Wyndham - The Kraken Wakes


New York Times Bestseller list 1953

Désirée by
Annemarie Selinko
Beyond This Place by
A. J. Cronin
Lord Vanity by
Samuel Shellabarger



Literary News 1953


ian fleming 1953
Ian Fleming
introduces James Bond, British spy 007 in Casino Royale. It was the first of eleven James Bond novels which also went on to become the most successful movie franchise in history. Ian Fleming




playboy magazine 1953
Hugh Hefner
publishes the first issue of Playboy magazine. It is an instant hit with Marilyn Monroe on the cover and a pictorial inside. The magazine becomes the kickoff to the coming sexual revolution as men buy it up to read all the fine articles inside. Hugh Hefner

Allen Ginsbert and William Burroughs 1953
Allen Ginsberg & William S. Burroughs



Under the name William Lee, William Burroughs writes a his first novel, Junkie, Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict. Literary agent Allen Ginsberg commits himself to a mental institution to find a publisher. With this partnership the Beat Generation is born. William S. Burroughs Junkie.

Nobel Prize Literature – Sir Winston Leonard by Spencer Churchill

Pulitzer Prize

Fiction: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Drama: Picnic by William Inge



Non Fiction 1953


era of good feelings 1953The Era of Good Feelings by George Dangerfield - The history of 1816-1824 America when for the first and last time political partisanship abated. It was the time of President James Monroe, Henry Clay and the Missouri Compromise. George Dangerfield


seven years in Tibet 1953
Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
- An autobiography of an German SS officer who escaped from a British prisoner of war camp in India in 1944 and lived in Lasa, Tibet until 1950 when the Communists invaded. The book opened up interest in Tibet the world over. Seven Years in Tibet


Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford
G. R. Elton - The Tudor Revolution in Government


1953 Tony Awards (theater)


arthur miller 1953

Arthur Miller's The Crucible premiers and becomes the most preformed play in American theater. It is a satire on McCarthyism using the Salem witch trials. The Crucible


Outstanding Play: The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Outstanding Dramatic Actor:
Tom Ewell, The Seven 1953 Itch
Outstanding Dramatic Actress:
Shirley Booth Time of the Cuckoo
Outstanding Supporting or Featured Dramatic Actor:
John Williams, Dial M for Murder
Outstanding Supporting or Featured Dramatic Actress:
Beatrice Straight, The Crucible
Outstanding Director:
Joshua Logan, Picnic


year that was



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1979 history
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The Year That Was
A retro, nostalgic multimedia journey through the years
Fiftes - Ticky Tacky - 1950s
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