America in the British Imagination: 1945 to the Present, 1st by John F. Lyons (auth.)

By John F. Lyons (auth.)

How used to be American tradition disseminated into Britain? Why did many British voters embody American customs? And what photograph did they type of American society and politics? This enticing and wide-ranging historical past explores those and different questions about the U.S.'s cultural and political impact on British society within the post-World battle II period.

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Britain had a long history of immigration from Europe; in the postwar years a new influx of immigrants from Europe arrived in Britain. In 1951, 160,000 people in England and Wales were born in Poland and INFLUENCE OF THE UNITED STATES ON BRITAIN, 1945–1963 31 33,000 in Italy. There were about 430,000 Jews in Britain, many fleeing continental Europe. In 1951, 627,000 people in England and Wales were born in Ireland and over the next ten year another 400,000 emigrated from the Irish Republic. 117 British youths eschewed the quaint Lyons tea shops, which seemed so outdated, and spent much of their leisure time in the bustling, music-filled, Italian-owned coffee bars serviced by chrome-plated Gaggia espresso machines.

Took me six months to pay for it. And a flat beret. All the girls, all the Teddy girls, wore the berets with a great big hat pin with a pearl in it, and string pearls all tied up and that horrible pan-stick make up, thick brown and great big thick lips, cerise pink, you know? You think of it now. 91 Sheila Francis remembers that living in a Welsh village she had less access to the clothes than youngsters living in major cities and that her fashion choice was frowned upon by her parents: “I managed to buy a black coat and trousers in a jumble sale, and my bootlace tie was a bootlace.

86 The Hollywood image spread its appeal beyond gangsters. In 1946, Cecil Gee, a men’s cloths shop in London, launched an “American Look,” based on suits worn by film stars like Cary Grant and Clark Gable in the 1930s: pinstriped suits with broad-shouldered, double-breasted, wide-lapel jackets. Cecil Gee imported shirts with long pointed collars from the United States, hand-painted ties and widebrimmed American hats. ”87 The hand-painted ties seemed particularly fashionable. “Everybody has them, stockbrokers, clerks, teen-agers and the middle-aged,” noted Cecil INFLUENCE OF THE UNITED STATES ON BRITAIN, 1945–1963 25 Gee.

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