The Autobiography Of A Nation

Overview

This exceptional book is the first full-length study on the 1951 Festival of Britain. As a consciously constructed cultural and educational event, or rather series of events, the Festival provides an opportunity to see a society and a government struggling to recast national identity after the experience of World War II. Primarily an examination of how Britain and Britishness were portrayed in the 1951 Festival’s exhibitions and events, Becky E. Conekin considers the Festival’s history and historiography, its ...

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Overview

This exceptional book is the first full-length study on the 1951 Festival of Britain. As a consciously constructed cultural and educational event, or rather series of events, the Festival provides an opportunity to see a society and a government struggling to recast national identity after the experience of World War II. Primarily an examination of how Britain and Britishness were portrayed in the 1951 Festival’s exhibitions and events, Becky E. Conekin considers the Festival’s history and historiography, its purpose, its representations of the future and the past, the role of London and the "local", the British Empire and finally its legacy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The autobiography of a nation assembles an impressive array of evidence and argument for judging this fascinating moment in British postwar cultural history. Uniting the best of history and cultural studies, Becky Conekin contributes an essential building block for the gradually accumulating historiography of the postwar era." — Geoff Eley, University of Michigan

"This book makes a significant contribution to the design and social history of postwar Britain." — Simon Gunn, University of Leeds

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719060601
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Series: Studies in Design
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.69 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Becky E. Conekin is Research Fellow and Lecturer, London College of Fashion, The London Institute.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Acknowledgements
I Introducing the Festival
1 The background: history and historiography 2
2 The Festival's people and purposes 26
II Time
3 The Festival's representations of the future 46
4 The Festival's representations of the past 80
III Place
5 London-based representations of the metropole and 'the regions' 116
6 The role of 'the local' in the Festival 153
7 The place that was almost absent: the British Empire 183
8 The place of escape and edification: the Battersea Pleasure Gardens 203
IV Conclusion
9 Conclusion: the Festival and its legacy 226
Appendices 235
Select bibliography 239
Index 256
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