The Nineteen forties were dominated by the war. With the invasion of Poland, the world began to change. It shortly became obvious that the war would engulf more of the world and last longer than World War I. Soon with the military power sweeping through Europe, the United States felt pressure to enter the war. With the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, the United States was thrust headlong into WWII, not just in Europe, but with the Japanese as well. During this period little thought was given to arts and culture and the normal politics of the time. All efforts were focused on winning the war. Films, novels and fashions either supported the war or took influence from military ideas.
When the war finally ended the Cold War began. The United States and its allies found themselves in a psychological and military duel abroad. This was a period of scientific and technological activity, with both sides pouring time, money, and personnel into the great competition for military, scientific, and psychological superiority.