The English folk revival cannot be understood when divorced from the history of post-war England, yet the existing scholarship fails to fully engage with its role in the social and political fabric of the nation. Postwar Politics, Society and the Folk Revival in England is the first study to interweave the story of a gentrifying folk revival with the socio-political tensions inherent in England's postwar transition from austerity to affluence.
Julia Mitchell skillfully situates the English folk revival in the context of the rise of the new left, the decline of heavy industry, the rise of local, regional and national identities, the 'Americanisation' of English culture and the development of mass culture. In doing so, she demonstrates that the success of the English folk revival derived from its sense of authenticity and its engagement with topical social and political issues, such as the conflicted legacy of the Welfare State, the fight for nuclear disarmament and the fallout of nationalization. In addition, she shrewdly compares the US and British revival to identify the links but also what was distinctive about the movement in Britain.
Drawing on primary sources from folk archives, the BBC, the music press and interviews with participants, this is a theoretically engaged and sophisticated analysis of how postwar culture shaped the folk revival in England.
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Höhe: 234 mm
Breite: 156 mm
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Julia Mitchell is Teacher and Academic Guidance Counsellor at Luther College, High School in Regina, Canada. She holds a PhD in History from University College London, UK.
List of Abbreviations
1. 'Folk Song without Folk'?: An Introduction to Folk Revivalism in Twentieth-Century England
2. The Pub and the Beeb: Structural Foundations of the English Folk Revival
3. 'Its Music Was Folk': Folk Revivalism and Socialist Politics in Postwar England
4. A Dialectic of Class and Region: Folk Music in the 'Affluent Society'
5. 'Accent Speaks Louder than Words': Imagining Regional and National Communities through Folk Music
6. Folk Music and Cultural Exchange: The 'Shiny Barbarism' of Americanisation
7. 'With Bob on Our Side': Folk Music, the Culture Industry and the Problem of Commercial Success
Julia Mitchell's book plays a lively, inspiring and novel tune, stringing together popular music, the peace movement, the BBC, industry, politics and much more. Her book strikes a chord with debates about transatlantic and national cultures and local traditions. Mitchell's refrain - that folk music matters to post-war British history - is an important intervention and one historians will want and need to listen to. * Lawrence Black, Professor of Modern History, University of York, UK * Julia Mitchell's new book provides a lively and informative history of the English folk revival, while also bringing a fresh and illuminating perspective to established debates about the politics of class, deindustrialisation, affluence and nostalgia. It is an assured account, which opens a series of profound and provocative questions about the interaction between different forms of identity, authenticity and popular culture in postwar Britain. * Emily Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Sussex, UK *