Family Britain, 1951-1957
by David Kynaston
Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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As in Austerity Great Britain, an amazing range of bright colors, from the intimate and unconscious voice of the reader of this storyNella’s most perceptive Last Shops assiduously at Barrow Market like austerity and rationing gradually give way to relative abundance; housewife Judy Haines, savouring the detail of suburban life, brings her children into Chingford; and, self-absorbed civil servant Henry St John perfects the art of gruntingThese and many other voices give a rich, sentimental image of everyday life in the 1950sWe also meet well-known personalities on the way, like Doris Lessing (join and, later, leave the Communist Party), John Arlott (stick on All the Questionsfor homosexual rights) and the King’s Tiger, the Rovers (taking his early scoring goal for Melchester)All this is part of a colourful universe, the tapestry unfolding, in which the great national events – the Conservatives return to power, the death of George VI, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the Suez Crisis jostle beside everything that gave Britain in the 1950s, its taste: Butlin, summer camps, Kenwood mixers, “Hancock Half-Hour”, Ekco televisions, Davy Crockett, skiing and teddy boysDeeply studied, David Kynaston of the “Family of Great Britain” proposes an incomparable take on a large coherent, orderly, still very hierarchical part of society with gratitude begun to abandon the painful trials of the 1940s towards the interior of ease and wealth
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