21 September 2014 – Modernity Britain

I’ve just read a review of David Kynaston’s new social history: Modernity Britain: A shake of the Dice, 1959-62 which looks well worth a read. The review describes it as a book which ‘gives a distinctive treatment to the familiar story of how a war-weary, traditionally frugal population, many of whom believed that physical discomfort and emotional repression were character-forming, turned into a nation of unashamed consumers and cry-babies.’ The book charts the ever-growing rise of capitalism and consumerism – the 10 most heavily advertised products in 1960 (in descending order) were Persil, Tide, Omo, Daz, Stork, Guinness, Nescafe, Surf, Maxwell House, Ford. The most popular TV ads were for Esso Petrol and Sunblest sliced bread. The rise of very clean, instant coffee-drinking and white sliced bread eaters?

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