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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal but objective account of an era
Jenny Diski is a distinguished writer and some of her novels are powerful and dark evocations of people under pressure. Here by contrast she offers a witty and shrewd account of the 1960's seen from a personal perspective. She was born in 1947 and speaks of the period under scrutiny at first hand. The book is objective and highly informative history. Some chapters are...
Published on 21 April 2010 by Hywel James

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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I remember it well - but not like that!
This Book was heavier than i expected - probably because it was mainly based in London rather than out in the provinces - I would have preferred a more light hearted view of the the sixties - more evocative of the way I remembered it - and not through a drug enhanced haze!!Too political and very much the writer's view(rather depressing as far as I was concerned)of her...
Published on 11 Oct 2010 by B. M. Martin


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal but objective account of an era, 21 April 2010
By 
Hywel James "Hywel James" (Devon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Jenny Diski is a distinguished writer and some of her novels are powerful and dark evocations of people under pressure. Here by contrast she offers a witty and shrewd account of the 1960's seen from a personal perspective. She was born in 1947 and speaks of the period under scrutiny at first hand. The book is objective and highly informative history. Some chapters are rather bleak largely because she feels that as one gets older one becomes increasingly frustrated at no longer being able to influence events. She also feels as many of us born around the same time as the author that many of the hopes and opportunities which characterised the 1960's have been disappointed or squandered - sometimes by our own attitudes and actions both then and later.

The book is admirably concise and extremely well written. An accurate and sharply critical evocation of the period.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering the 60s as they actually were, 26 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Sixties (Big Ideas) (Paperback)
I love Jenni Diski's writing, lucid and coming from the heart, in the true sense of the word, perhaps honest would be a better description. I was curious to read her version of the 1960s, since I was in my early teens then, and through the aftermath of the early 1970s. Everyone has an opinion about the 1960s, often dismissive, to the point where I was beginning to believe that my memories were wrong. It was reassuring to read someone whose recall of those times coincided with my own. It was a messy, chaotic, naiive and idealistic time but the innovations and overturning of entrenched ideas which we now take for granted were taking shape then. It seems ridiculous now that people were shocked at the length of the Beatles' hair or that to be a single woman trying to get the contraceptive pill anywhere outside of London meant being chased out of the clinic under a hail of insults but that is exactly what it was like. For every fashion hippy, there were people exploring and trying new ideas,and the effects filtered through to every aspect of our lives, even if we were not aware of it. And, as she says, the music was wonderful. Until then, the only alternative for anyone seeking more than all those interminable, mawkish love songs was jazz but 60s music was a real revolution which paved the way for everything which has happened since.
Not at all simple nostalgia but an illuminating and personal perspective on an era whose ripples still resonate in the present.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for a personal view......, 7 Dec 2011
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This review is from: The Sixties (Big Ideas) (Paperback)
At last Ive found a book that gives a personal view from a baby boomer that draws from personal and detailed experience, rather than from informed sources that will inevitably give an overview.
She looks at her privileged time in the 60s ( and believe me - it was a privileged time - free university education, high disposable income, the easy opportunity for social mobility etc) with a little embarrassment at how she thought she could change the world, along with a large clutch of youth, and also a little humour. Time must have tempered that sixties seriousness.......
It always bemuses me how many young people today say how they would like a time machine to enable them to go back to an era once golden, but were born too late. For those very youngsters who want to know what it was like for the ordinary person in the street, whether they lived at the hub of it all in London - or the provinces, Diski's book will give a good insight. You dont need to read the 500 page encyclopaedic political, social and economic "history lesson" super tomes for that.
Diski's book is a different slant on the current baby boomer literary reminiscences made all the more enjoyable because its written by a genuine "Sixties Chick" !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great overview of the sixties, 24 Nov 2010
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Mr. Robert Marsland (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sixties (Big Ideas) (Paperback)
I really loved this book and I read it very quickly. It is a personal account of the times with much pointed reflection about what was happening in the wider context. The book is cut into chapters tackling subjects such as attitudes to sex, consumerism, work, education, drug taking, protest and mental health. I found Diski's analysis illuminating and found that it shed a lot of light on my own attitudes and beliefs, having been born in the period she is talking about. It also at the end makes an analysis about the period's liberalism and ideals and todays. Wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply it is a short but great overview of the decade and summons it up perfectly ..., 15 Nov 2014
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Kim Hatton "Kim Hatton" (Nottingham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sixties (Big Ideas) (Paperback)
A short review of a book about a decade I lived through with Ms Diski. Quite simply it is a short but great overview of the decade and summons it up perfectly with its opening chapter on the birth of youth consumerism which was the mummy and daddy of Consumerist Culture for all ages through drugs and sex to radical politics and the question 'what now?' More of everything for the lucky few less and less of everything for the present majority. And 'Yes' she does see the cult and practise of Thatcherism as birthed in the sixties and considering how narcissistic the seventies and eighties were it follows we should find ourselves suffering the shock waves today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate and honest, 11 Dec 2014
This short book is beautifully written and I really admire the clarity and directness of the style. I think the author was very honest about the idealism and chaos at what was talked about as the dawn of a new age. It gives a fair assessment of the legacy of the sixties. It is also a personal account, braver than most. She was clearly a charismatic and intelligent young woman who admits to being a member of a privileged generation, but probably she had a very hard time. At least she is able to look back with humour and wisdom and make from it a historical gem.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly incisive and thought-provoking, 3 Sep 2013
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Really gets under the skin of all aspects, politically and emotional, of the sixties generation. Addresses questions of education and politics and places them in the context of the twentieth century society. Fascinating reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Witty guide through the myths and memories, 30 April 2013
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Sabina (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Not everyone in the sixties lived in communes, took drugs, went on protest marches, started experimental schools, spent their time in the Maudsley and was inspired by R.D Laing et al. Though most enjoyed the music. Jenny Diski lived through all these and more, and now takes a wry and engaging look back at the contradictions inherent in an era of growing individualism, permissiveness and liberation. She starts by describing her favourite black crepe Biba dress, and leads on to seeing how the legacy of the free-thinking sixties may have influenced the greed and self-interest of the eighties.
She makes distinct the differences from the previous post-war generation, and summarises the trends in clothes, music, thinking, relating and politics in a personal, but widely informed, almost breezy way which is a pleasure to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Sixties (Big Ideas) (Paperback)
ALL WELL, THANKS
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I remember it well - but not like that!, 11 Oct 2010
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This review is from: The Sixties (Big Ideas) (Paperback)
This Book was heavier than i expected - probably because it was mainly based in London rather than out in the provinces - I would have preferred a more light hearted view of the the sixties - more evocative of the way I remembered it - and not through a drug enhanced haze!!Too political and very much the writer's view(rather depressing as far as I was concerned)of her time in the sixties.
Took it on Holiday foolishly and had to put it down for a happier read. Still not finished.
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The Sixties (Big Ideas)
The Sixties (Big Ideas) by Jenny Diski (Paperback - 1 July 2010)
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