6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Informative but a bit plodding,
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This review is from: The Autobiography of a Nation: The 1951 Festival of Britain (Studies in Design & Material Culture) (Paperback)
The festival of Britain is a fascinating pinch point in British popular culture. Conceived as a reward for the public after their years of sacrifice and as the glimmer of light at the end of the dark tunnel of the years of austerity.
The Autobiography of a Nation examines the festival from a number of different angles and considers its motives, influences and politics with commendable clarity but it's a pretty dry read.
As an academic study it lacks a really good factual overview by way of introduction, which makes it a poor primer for people whose prior knowledge of the Festival is limited. A certain amount of the context is assumed to be understood. The illustrations too are somewhat limited - too many smeary black and white photographs of the personnel involved and not enough plans of the site. But the biggest fault, from the point of view of the non-specialist reader is that Conekin has a very limited appreciation of the telling detail, the revealing anecdote that can be so useful in bringing uncertainties of austerity Britain to life.
Its a good book but, I doubt many people would want to read it for fun