'Jessica Mann analyses the decade with forensic precision - stripping away the rose-coloured specs for good' --Daily Mail
'thoughtful and emphatic ... a richly readable and persuasive piece of work' --Spectator
'She recalls the grime of the 50s: endless stinking nappy buckets; smog; inadequate washing facilities; body odour whenever people were crowded together. She recalls boredom and isolation, and suspects both the child-rearing experts and the government of a concerted push to get mothers back home after the war, so that there would be jobs for the returning 'boys'. And she recalls the unacceptability of talking, or sometimes even knowing, about sex, female anatomy, and cancer. She is bang on' --Baroness Neuberger, Jewish Chronicle
Many young women 'long to put the clock back to the post-war years when life seemed prettier and nicer'. In this book Jessica Mann demolishes such preconceptions about their mothers' or grandmothers' young days, showing that in reality life was uglier and nastier. Born just before WW2, she describes growing up in the post-war era of austerity, restrictions and hypocrisy, before anyone even dreamed of Women's Lib. The Fifties Mystique is both a personal memoir and a polemic. In explaining the lives of pre-feminists to the post-feminists of today, Jessica Mann discusses the period's very different attitudes to sex, childbirth, motherhood and work, describes how she and other young women lived in that distant world with its forgotten restrictions and warns against taking hard-won rights for granted.
About the Author
Jessica Mann has been a controversial commentator and critic since first appearing on Radio 4’s Any Questions in the 1970s. She is the author of 20 crime novels and three non-fiction books; as a freelance journalist her features, weekly columns, numerous travel articles and book reviews have appeared in national newspapers and glossy magazines. She is the crime fiction reviewer of the Literary Review, and as a broadcaster has appeared on Question Time, Any Questions, Start The Week, Stop The Week, Woman’s Hour and many other programmes.
She has held a series of public appointments to do with the NHS, Utility Regulation, Employment Tribunals, Town and Country Planning and the Arts.
Jessica divides her time between Cornwall, where she lives with her husband the archaeologist Professor Charles Thomas, and London.
She has two sons, two daughters, and 11 grandchildren.
About the Author
Jessica Mann has been a controversial commentator and critic since first appearing Radio 4's Any Questions in the 1970s. She recently attracted worldwide publicity arising from her comments about explicit violence in crime fiction. She is the author of twenty crime novels and three non-fiction books and a freelance journalist, whose features, weekly columns, numerous travel articles and book reviews have appeared in most national newspapers, weeklies and glossy magazines. She is the crime fiction reviewer of the Literary Review. She has held a series of public appointments as chairwoman or member of committees 'quangos' concerned with the NHS, Utility Regulation, Town and Country Planning, Employment Tribunals, the Arts etc. She is also a broadcaster, having appeared on such programmes as Question Time, Any Questions, Round Britain Quiz, Start The Week, Stop The Week to name but a few. She divides her time between Cornwall, where she lives with her husband, the archaeologist Professor Charles Thomas, and London. She has two sons, two daughters and eleven grandchildren.