Modernity Britain Book Two: A Shake of the Dice, 1959-62
For some bizarre reason I had missed the publication of this in the autumn, though I’ll be waiting for it to come down in price on the Kindle.
The other titles in David Kynaston’s epic history series, have all been essential reading for anyone interested in post war Britain.
It’s the mix of sources: official documents; personal diary entries; newspaper reports; and letters, that give these books their human touch.
From the Bloomsbury website,
“By 1959 consumerism was inexorably taking hold (stripes for Signal toothpaste, flavours for potato crisps), relative economic decline was becoming the staple of political discourse (entry into Europe increasingly seen as our salvation), immigration was turning into an ever-hotter issue (the controversial coming of controls), traditional norms of morality were perceived as under serious threat (Lady Chatterley’s Lover freely on sale after the famous case), and traditional working-class culture was changing (wakes weeks in decline, the end of the maximum wage for footballers) even as Coronation Street established itself as a national institution. The greatest shake of the dice, though, concerned urban redevelopment: city centres were being yanked into the age of the motor car, slum clearance was intensified, and the skyline became studded with brutalist high-rise boxes. Some of this transformation was necessary, but too much would destroy communities and leave a harsh, fateful legacy.”