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Palgrave Macmillan

Preserving the Sixties

Britain and the 'Decade of Protest'

ISBN 9781137374097
Publication Date April 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

It is often claimed that the Sixties in Britain were dominated mainly by 'youth' and 'protest'. True, the desire to escape outmoded social, moral and artistic conventions was illustrated in a rich, provocative cultural production, as well as through a number of radical social and political movements or reforms. However, as this collection argues, innovation was everywhere shadowed by conservatism. A decade fascinated by itself and, especially, by the future, was tormented by self-doubt and accompanied by a fear of losing the past. Ultimately the 'radicalism' of the Sixties in Britain is also visible in its conservatism, in the spectacular, novel ways in which the decade expressed and absorbed the new, yet preserved the old. Rather than pitting radical against conservative, the authors' interpretation of the Sixties may well gain by attempting to see how these two apparently antagonistic qualities in fact represent opposite sides of the same problem.

Trevor Harris is Professor of British Studies at the University of Tours, France. He works on the political and intellectual history of Britain and has written or edited a number of books, including Art, Politics and Society in Britain 1880-1914 (2009) and Une Certaine idée de l'Angleterre (2006).

Monia O'Brien Castro lectures in British Studies at the University of Tours, France. She also works as scientific advisor for La Villette Exhibition Centre in Paris. Her research explores the decline and renovation of Britain's inner cities. She has also published on urban policy, and urban and social ethnic exclusion.

Foreword; Dominic Sandbrook
Introduction; Trevor Harris and Monia O'Brien Castro
1. Sixties Britain: the Cultural Politics of Historiography; Mark Donnelly
2. The 1960s: Days of Innocence; R. J. Morris
3. The Abortion Act 1967: a Fundamental Change?; Sylvie Pomiès-Maréchal and Matthew Leggett
4. Industrial Relations in the 1960s: the End of Voluntarism?; Alexis Chommeloux
5. The Radical Left and Popular Music in the 1960s; Jeremy Tranmer
6. Civil Rights in Northern Ireland and Friel's Freedom of the City; Martine Pelletier
7. Pulp Diction: Stereotypes in 1960s British Literature; Peter Vernon
8. Sketchy Counterculture; Judith Roof
9. Psychic Liberation in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; Ben Winsworth
10. Preservation Society; Raphael Costambeys-Kempczynski
Conclusion; Trevor Harris and Monia O'Brien Castro

Alexis Chommeloux, University of Tours, France
Raphael Costambeys-Kempczynski, Sorbonne Nouvelle, France
Mark Donnelly, St Mary's University College, London, UK
Matthew Leggett, University of Burgundy, France
R. J. Morris, University of Edinburgh, UK
Martine Pelletier, University of Tours, France
Sylvie Pomiès-Maréchal, independent scholar, France
Judith Roof, Rice University, Texas, USA
Jeremy Tranmer, University of Nancy, France
Peter Vernon, retired scholar, UK
Ben Winsworth, University of Orleans, France


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