The Sixties

The Sixties : Social and Cultural Transformation in Britain, France, Italy and the United States, 1958-74

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Mention of the 60s arouses strong emotions, even in those who were already old when the 60s began and those who were not yet born when the 60s ended. For some, it is a golden age of political progress; others see it as an era in which depravity was celebrated, and the secure moral and social framework subverted. The 1960s was unquestionably a decade of exceptional historical significance, witnessing transformation in personal relationships, in attitudes towards authority, in modes of self-presentation, in material standards, customs, and behaviour. This volume presents a study of social and political change in Europe and the United States during this period of cultural revolution. Paying particular attention to the impact of the 60s on the lives of ordinary people, Marwick exposes as myths and caricatures many of the accepted views of the decade. He analyzes phenomena as diverse as sexual permissiveness, innovations in high art, the civil rights movement, feminism, improvements in material conditions, the rise of youth culture, and trends towards individualism and self-expression, arguing that the 60s was no short-term era of ecstasy and excess, fit only for nostalgia or contempt. On the contrary, the 60s set the cultural and social agenda for the rest of the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 903 pages
  • 138.9 x 215.4 x 44.2mm | 1,016.05g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 48 b&w halftones
  • 0192881000
  • 9780192881007

Review quote

"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 Timesshow more

Table of contents

1: Was there a cultural revolution c. 1958- c .1974?; 2: If so, why?; II. The first stirrings of a cultural revolution 1958-63; 3: New actors, new activities; 4: Art, morality, and social relations; 5: Race; III. The high sixties; 6: Acts of God and acts of government; 7: Pushing paradigms to their utmost limits, or creative extremism: structuralism, conceptualism, and indeterminacy; 8: Affluence, poverty, and permissiveness; 9: Beauty, booze, and the built environment; 10: National and other identities; 11: Freedom, turbulence and death; 12: Nineteen sixty-eight (and 69); IV. Everything goes, and catching up 1969-74; 13: Women's turn; 14: Full effrontery; 15: Living life to the more

About Arthur Marwick

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 more

Review Text

As the first attempt at a comprehensive treatment of the period by a well-known historian, this book breaks much new ground. Not only does Marwick take great pains to try and define the period under discussion - seeing it as beginning around 1958 and ending in 1973-74 - but he also takes on the literature and traditions of four different societies: France, Italy, Britain and the USA. The subject matter ranges from art, morality and social relations through race and permissiveness, before tackling the events of 1968 and the legacy of the period as a whole. Marwick is prepared to make personal judgements in his own inimitable style and, while one might not agree with all his conclusions, the interest never flags. (Kirkus UK)show more

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32 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 25% (8)
4 44% (14)
3 22% (7)
2 9% (3)
1 0% (0)
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