The 1970s is remembered as a decade of punk rock, the Winter of Discontent, Bloody Sunday and The Female Eunuch. The iconic images of the 70s, from the break-up of the Beatles to the striking Merseyside graveyard diggers and mountains of municipal rubbish in Leicester Square, provide a glimpse into the extraordinary contrasts of the decade. Britain in the 1970s has been painted as a country in crisis, but despite the strikes, power cuts, and stagflation, recent research has proclaimed that 1976 was the best time in Britain since 1950. The country underwent huge social and cultural shifts, with the blossoming of modern feminism, the Gay Liberation Front, and the establishment of the Commission for Racial Equality. The high street enjoyed the impact of new technology and new brands, and global travel was brought within the reach of many. In 1970s Britain, Janet Shepherd and John Shepherd will reassess a decade rich in continuities and contrasts, from different national and local perspectives.
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Published April 17, 2012