- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (24 April 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857202782
- ISBN-13: 978-0857202789
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
1965: The Year Modern Britain was Born Hardcover – 24 Apr 2014
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'Bray serves up a nostalgia-tinged appraisal of the year's key characters and events, never failing to show why these remain relevant' -- Observer
'In this entertaining and intelligently argued retrospective, the author draws together all the elements that laid the foundations for the second half of Britain's dynamic decade, in which we led the world in innovation, fashion and fun' -- Daily Mail
About the Author
After fifteen years on Fleet Street, Christopher Bray became a full-time writer in 2005. He's the author of Michael Caine: A Class Act and Sean Connery: The Measure of a Man. A film critic for the Mail on Sunday, he writes for the FT, Observer, Wall St Journal, New Republic and Literary Review. He lives in London.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book begins with the death of Churchill and T.S. Eliot. It was the end of an era, specifically of two, great men, who looked to the past for inspiration. As Bray states, with their death, "right on cue, the future arrived." This book encompasses a lot of different aspects of the year - from feminism, cars, fashion, politics, television, books, music and class mobility. There is no doubt that it was a year which broke down class barriers and created a new aristocracy. With the Beatles, regional accents suddenly appeared - not only on the radio and television, but in vogue. After them, Michael Caine, David Bailey and others helped make other voices, other than the `upper class' tones of BBC English acceptable.
Naturally, music figures largely in this year. It was the year Bob Dylan became electric, the Stones needed some satisfaction and the Beatles released Rubber Soul. There is much about the Beatles - or, rather about John Lennon. For the author makes it plain that he feels Lennon was the main contributor to the Beatles and I have to say right now that if you are a Beatles fan (as I am) then you will probably not like this book. The author trots out various snide and unpleasant remarks about Paul - or `Macca', as he feels free to call him - and George and Ringo might as well have not existed.Read more ›
Firstly I wondered if just one year could feature so large that it could take the analysis of a book – and still remain a worthwhile read. Mind you, as the author has cleverly identified, 1965 really wasn’t like any other in the decade. Churchill’s death was of course pivotal – a massive moment in our cultural history (I remember it clearly and I was only 6), but this year was also monumental for music and the Arts, and many other important areas of social progress and change. It was only as the pages went by that these facts became clear.
Bray couldn’t have packed any more detail into this book. For that reason it’s really not a book I felt I could read at speed, particularly as I wanted to retain much from it. The insights into R.D. Laing were particularly interesting, as were the larger references to cultural giants of the day Bob Dylan, Lennon & McCartney, T.S. Eliot (who died a few streets from Churchill in the same month I discovered), and even Mary Whitehouse. Censorship issues are covered in much detail here.
It’s clear that a lot of time and thought has been put into this book. This is why it is a definite 5 star. It’s the detail that particularly makes this book for me.
I was six-years old in 1965 and lived in London at the time and it brought back some very nostalgic memories of the 60s as seen through my young eyes. I also read the book while commuting to my London job and listening to some 60s music on an I-Pod. Add to this the London atmosphere of black cabs, Underground Roundels and Red buses and I just wanted to return to those times to experience them as an adult.
Although the content of the book is fairy broad a keen interest in the arts would help the reader to get the most out of it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was seven in 1965. The premise is becoming familiar, like Bryson's "1927", choose one year and tag all the people in it who did, or will do, something significant, so the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ade
A boring book which concentrates too much on art, poetry, films etc and not the real social issues of the day. Started it on holiday but gave up after a few chapters.Published 20 months ago by Hugh's