5 YEARS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD;FAST FORWARD TO 2045

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The baby boom, the auto boom, the retailing boom, the media boom. Life in the postwar era seemed to be on constant fast forward, as we've tried to show in this section, and we chose to explore only some of the watershed changes that had their roots in the five years following the end of fighting in the Pacific on Aug. 14, 1945. Other seeds were also being sown during that period: fear of atomic war in the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the advent of the Cold War and formation of NATO; the Marshall Plan; the creation of Israel; Harry Truman's 1948 presidential victory that stunned even the pollsters; "The Kinsey Report on Sexuality in the Human Male"; and the end of the color barrier in baseball when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. And in a way, 1950 - with the start of the Korean War - ushered in a new period. Today, the pace of life if anything seems even more harried, with the advent of new media, the two-income family, gangsta rap, random violence and the 1994 election that put Republicans in charge of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. Where will we be in another 50 years? Six experts - and our readers - give their predictions.
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