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

By John F. Lyons (auth.)

How was once American tradition disseminated into Britain? Why did many British voters include American customs? And what photo did they kind of American society and politics? This enticing and wide-ranging historical past explores those and different questions on the U.S.'s cultural and political impression on British society within the post-World warfare II period.

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132 Writing in 1961, journalist T. R. Fyvel noted “the Italian style,” which was taken up by steadily increasing numbers of working-class boys. The main components of the style were short jackets, fully draped at the back and at first often broadly striped on the Italian pattern. The trousers were narrow; shirts could be coloured as well as white and cuffs and handkerchiefs were prominently shown. The new shoes were finely pointed on the Italian model and in London called Pickers or Pointers. The look was topped off with Italian- and French-style short crew-cut haircuts without oil or grease.

In March 1933, Sidney Dark, editor of the Church Times, declared that cinema goers had “all sorts of intellectual and moral poison pumped into them without any kind of interference. ”20 In the postwar years, conservative elites continued to criticize American culture for leading to a decline in moral standards. “[A] great many films, particularly of American origin, have moments when they might said to be glorifying false values,” B. Seebohm Rowntree and G. R. Lavers suggested in English Life and Leisure, a survey of English culture in the late 1940s.

Cliff Richard, Billy Fury, Adam Faith and Marty Wilde borrowed the look and sound of American rock ‘n’ roll stars, particularly Elvis, and sang in fake American accents. “I wanted to be like Elvis and I practiced hard,” admitted Cliff Richard. ”73 Television pop shows like Six-Five Special, which began on the BBC in 1957 and Oh Boy, which debuted on Independent Television (ITV) the following year, showcased the rising British rock ‘n’ roll stars. Much of their output consisted of inferior cover versions of American rock ‘n’ roll hits but some British acts recorded bona fide classics.

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