London and the Making of the Permissive Society

400pp 46 ILLUS (6 COLOUR) 2010 LIST PRICE: £25.00 H592



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This new account of 1950s London challenges the sexual myth of the 1960s, arguing that its roots lay further back in the city's cultures of austerity and affluence that marked the post-war years. A series of spectacular scandals profoundly disturbed London life during the 1950s in ways that had major national consequences. Patrician men-about-town, young independent women, go-ahead entrepreneurs, Westminster politicians, queer men and West Indian newcomers were centre stage in a series of dramatic encounters that opened up a new phase of post-Victorian sexual morality. Soho and Notting Hill became beacons for anxieties over the changing character of sex in the city and the cultural impact of decolonisation.