Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-59

The late 1950s was an action packed, often dramatic time in which the contours of modern Britain began to take shape These were the never had it so good years, when the Carry On film series and the TV soap Emergency Ward 10 got going, and films like Room at the Top and plays like A Taste of Honey brought the working class to the centre of the national frame when the urThe late 1950s was an action packed, often dramatic time in which the contours of modern Britain began to take shape These were the never had it so good years, when the Carry On film series and the TV soap Emergency Ward 10 got going, and films like Room at the Top and plays like A Taste of Honey brought the working class to the centre of the national frame when the urban skyline began irresistibly to go high rise when CND galvanised the progressive middle class when youth emerged as a cultural force when the Notting Hill riots made race and immigration an inescapable reality and when meritocracy became the buzz word of the day The consequences of this modernity zeitgeist, David Kynaston argues, still affect us today.
Modernity Britain Opening the Box The late s was an action packed often dramatic time in which the contours of modern Britain began to take shape These were the never had it so good years when the Carry On film series and the TV

  • Title: Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-59
  • Author: David Kynaston
  • ISBN: 9780747588931
  • Page: 174
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-59”

    1. David Kynaston has set himself the task of writing a new micro History of Britain-Tales of a New Jerusalem in volumes from 1945 to 1979 or possibly now? The first two doorstep size books (Austerity Britain & Family Britain) both covered periods of five and six years respectively and were marketed as double volume editions each consisting of two books. So far so eccentric but they did offer good value in the expensive hardback market and were beautifully constructed. Modernity Britain was ori [...]

    2. 'The Man Who Saved Britain' -- might make you think ofa statesman such as Churchill, but in 1957 it referred toBond, James Bond. With the Empire shrinking, the recent Suez debacle, andworld influence flagging, Ian Fleming's super spy liftedthe country's spirits on the international front. Meanwhile at home, the economy was going great. Appliancessprouted for the first time in many homes, especially the TV,which everyone seemed to watch, worried about what otherswere watching, and have an opinion [...]

    3. Covering half the span of previous books in this series, and arguably less momentous times, Modernity Britain feels like a rather quick and slightly less enthralling read by Kynaston's standards (although the speed may be partly due to the reader's hunger to devour as much as possible in a sitting). Rising prosperity and an end (for many) to the deprivations of the post-war period, coupled with the gradual encroachment of 'modern' Britain on a rather hidebound island, all presided over by a bene [...]

    4. As I was born in 1958, this one proved irrresistibly interesting. As it's part of a series tracking modern Britain from 1945 into the early 1970s, there's not a lot of background or build up, just a rapid kaleidoscope of TV shows, political issues (redevelopment, education, meritocracy and race being big ones), sports, theater and name dropping (new names appearing in this period including Judi Dench, Margaret Thatcher and Vanessa Redgrave). Bogs down a bit in part, but overall a good picture (a [...]

    5. A historical buffet of British life in the late 50s, with dishes provided by diarists, surveys, newspapers, radio and TV programmes, adverts and speeches. Kynaston weaves things together in an intriguing way and offers valuable everyday glimpses into some major changes and events. Like a buffet, you end up passing over some of the offerings, and it was difficult keeping up with Kynaston right to the end. But an enjoyable read nonetheless.

    6. David Kynaston's richly textured story of Modernity Britain is a great read. Although some of the name dropping needed more explanation for those who didn't live through the era, and perhaps urban redevelopment might have been a tad overdone, this book stands as a model. It is a model of popular history, deftly combining social and narrative history. The lense is always in closeup, but Kynaston avoids myopia by swiftly moving from subject to subject. The result contrasts between tantalising blur [...]

    7. Author's third volume on British social history. Britain finally begins to come out of the shadow of the war. Everything is about progress. Some progress they like some they don't. Housing developments, some built before 1900, are torn down but the high rise flats put up in their place aren't to the people's taste. Television opens up and game shows and variety hours are popular. So are all the mod con's- tv's, cameras, washing machines, dish washers and vacuum cleaners all sell at record pace. [...]

    8. Mr. Kynaston's continuation of his history of post-war Britain continues to report on the lives and experiences of all classes of people. It is amazing how different this world is to today in many ways.

    9. Excellent as always from David Kynaston, a good mix of political and social history at a fascinating point in our story.

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