October 9th Assignment

The most interesting digital archive I have found so far is the LIFE Magazine cover archive. Currently focusing on the years 1965-1968, I have found the progression through the years to be very interesting. The covers about the Vietnam War start in 1965 as dramatic, colorless photos. On the other hand, the 1965 covers based on popular culture, regarding the latest swimsuit trends or Hollywood actors, are generally colorful and upbeat. As the years progress, however, the covers as a whole become very sad and dark. By 1967, even the covers depicting Elizabeth Taylor or the counterculture become dark and lifeless, and there is a very palpable sense of negativity in almost every cover, regardless of the subject. It is interesting to me how even subtle changes in color and photography can be recognized today as a general dissatisfaction in the American people of the late 1960s. Analyzing these subtle changes will help me track the progress of the American public’s sentiment toward the war throughout the years. Then, with a thorough knowledge of the public’s sentiment, I can compare that sentiment with press releases and official statements of the US government throughout the same time period.

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One thought on “October 9th Assignment”

  1. I find your topic of cultural shifts to be intriguing because inferring the whole public opinion by looking through magazine title pages is mind-boggling. But looking at different kinds of media outlook can also increase your sources and scope of public reaction, like the Kennedy Advertisements.

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