Preserving the Sixties: Britain and the ‘Decade of Protest’

Auteur : Trevor Harris, Monia O’Brien-Castro
Éditeur : Palgrave Macmillan
Date de publication : avril 2014
Laboratoire : ICD – EA 6297


It is often claimed that the Sixties in Britain were dominated mainly by ‘youth’ and ‘protest’. True, the desire to escape outmoded social, moral and artistic conventions was illustrated in a rich, provocative cultural production, as well as through a number of radical social and political movements or reforms. However, as this collection argues, innovation was everywhere shadowed by conservatism. A decade fascinated by itself and, especially, by the future, was tormented by self-doubt and accompanied by a fear of losing the past. Ultimately the ‘radicalism’ of the Sixties in Britain is also visible in its conservatism, in the spectacular, novel ways in which the decade expressed and absorbed the new, yet preserved the old. Rather than pitting radical against conservative, the authors’ interpretation of the Sixties may well gain by attempting to see how these two apparently antagonistic qualities in fact represent opposite sides of the same problem.