The Sixties: Cultural Transformation in Britain, France, Italy and the United States, C. 1958-1974

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If the World Wars defined the first half of the twentieth century, the sixties defined the second half, providing the pivot on which modern times have turned. From popular music to individual liberties, the tastes and convictions of the Western world are indelibly stamped with the impact of that tumultuous decade.
Now one of the world's foremost historians provides the definitive look at this momentous time. Framing the sixties as a period stretching from 1958 to 1974, Arthur ...
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Overview


If the World Wars defined the first half of the twentieth century, the sixties defined the second half, providing the pivot on which modern times have turned. From popular music to individual liberties, the tastes and convictions of the Western world are indelibly stamped with the impact of that tumultuous decade.
Now one of the world's foremost historians provides the definitive look at this momentous time. Framing the sixties as a period stretching from 1958 to 1974, Arthur Marwick argues that this long decade ushered in nothing less than a cultural revolution--one that raged most clearly in the United States, Britain, France, and Italy. Writing with wit and verve, he brilliantly recaptures the events and movements that shaped our lives: the rise of a youth subculture across the West; the impact of post Beat novels and New Wave cinema; the sit ins and marches of the civil rights movement; Britain's surprising rise to leadership in fashion and music; the emerging storm over Vietnam; the Paris student rising of 1968; the new concern for poverty; the growing force of feminism and the gay rights movement; and much more. As Marwick unfolds his vivid narrative, he illuminates this remarkable era--both its origins and its impact. He concludes that it was a time that saw great leaps forward in the arts, in civil rights, and in many other areas of society and politics. But the decade also left deep divisions still felt today.
Written with tremendous force of insight and narrative power, The Sixties promises to be the single most important account of the single most important decade of our times.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Marwick has made genuine contribution, first in affirming the reality of the cultural revolution as it manifested itself in so many spheres of life; then in showing how that revolution permeated and transformed mainstream society; and finally in putting it all in an international perspective, exposing the differences and yet basic similarities provided by the perspective."--The Washington Post Book World

"An ambitious synthesis.... Mr. Marwick's prodigious research and encyclopedic scope will make this book a helpful and entertaining reference work for a time to come."--Washington Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192881007
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/3/2000
  • Pages: 952
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Marwick is one of Britain's leading social and cultural historians. He has been Professor of History at the Open University since 1969, and is the author of a number of best-selling history books, including The Nature of History and British Society since 1945.

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Table of Contents

List of Plates xvii
Part I. Introduction
1. Was There a Cultural Revolution c.1958-c.1974? 3
Nostalgia, Prejudice, and Debate 3
Characteristics of a Unique Era 16
Sources and Methods 20
2. If So, Why? 23
Problems of Explanation 23
The Four Countries and their National Peculiarities 26
Convergence and the Forces of Change 36
Part II. The First Stirrings of a Cultural Revolution, 1958-1963
3. New Actors, New Activities 41
The Common Currency of Change 41
'Your Teenager Is Big Business': 'The Disaffection of the Growing Generation' 45
The Knitting Together of British Youth Subculture 55
Affluence, Sex, and the Environment 80
Blousons Noirs, Copains, Vitelloni: Youth in France and Italy 95
4. Art, Morality, and Social Relations 112
Reflecting Change-and Reinforcing It 112
The British 'New Wave' 118
Literary Censorship 143
New Modes in American, French, and Italian Novels 149
'Movies Have Suddenly Become More "Frank", "Adult", or "Dirty"' 173
The Explosion of Art 181
5. Race 194
The American South 194
The North as well as the South, and the West, too 217
Europe 229
Part IV. Everything Goes, and Catching Up, 1969-1974
13. Women's Turn 679
From Civil Rights and Student Protest to Women's Liberation and Fundamentalist Feminism 679
The Battles Over Contraception and Abortion 700
Divorce and Equal Rights 716
14. Full Effrontery 725
Gay Liberation 725
Uncut Film and Superrealism in Art 732
Bullets, Bombs, and a Break-in 744
15. Living Life to the Full 758
Incomes and Aspirations 758
Who Cares? 770
Going Out 792
Part V. Conclusion
16. The Consummation of a Cultural Revolution 801
Notes 807
Note on Sources 859
Index 873
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