Social & Industrial History
The Old Boys
The Decline and Rise of the Public School
To many, public schools are an anachronistic bastion of privilege. This book charts a colourful history of schoolboy revolts, eccentric heads, scandal, decline and renewal, to argue that, on balance, their contribution to national life is a positive one. Slightly off-mint.
The Great British Dream Factory
The Strange History of Our National Imagination
Britain’s empire has gone, but popular culture is one area in which it is still a superpower. JK Rowling has sold more than 400 million books, Doctor Who is watched in almost every developed country, and James Bond is the longest-running film series in history. This entertaining, thought-provoking book explores the roots, meaning and global success of Britain’s popular culture, and asks what there is in the national imagination that has given birth to such riches.
A Scene In Between
Tripping Through the Fashions of UK Indie Music 1980–1988
The British alternative pop scene of the 1980s took its fashion cues from 1960s garage rock and punk, with an anti-glam look of charity shop chic, anoraks and bowl haircuts, and distinctive indie guitar music in the form of bands such as Primal Scream, The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine. This portrait of the times comprises a collection of mostly unpublished images of the bands, gigs and fans on the minority scene.
The Secret Lives of Hair
As well as wigs, toupees and extensions, there are many uses for and beliefs about human hair. Indian traders call it ‘black gold’; in China a protein derived from it was once used in soy sauce; and in 1920s America there was a craze for using it to make ‘invisible’ hairnets. Anthropologist Emma Tarlo travelled the world to search out the facts and here presents the many remarkable hair-related stories she uncovered.
Nations are often regarded as fixed, natural entities, but most nation states have been consciously created in recent centuries, and France is no exception. Divided into three sections covering French history, experience and identity, this study examines the way that revolution, social conflict, war, occupation and resistance, colonialism and decolonization, religion, gender and popular culture have all shaped the evolution and reinvention of France to create the country we know today.
School Songs and Gymslips
Grammar Schools in the 1950s and 1960s
With tales from the days of indoor sandals and navy knickers, Latin verbs and transistor radios, semolina pudding and O Levels, this light-hearted social history is based on the experiences of pupils from 18 schools around the country and describes how things were for grammar school girls – at school and at home – between about 1955 and 1965.
Great American Billboards
100 Years of History by the Side of the Road
Early in the 20th century, as Americans climbed into their Model-Ts and took to the open road, American manufacturers and retailers discovered miles and miles of new advertising space, and the audaciously oversized billboard was born. For a century, billboards have recruited, congratulated, teased, sold, and seduced us, promoting everything under the sun, from hosiery to war bonds, presidential candidates to rock shows.
The Husband Hunters
Social Climbing in London and New York
Between 1874, when Jennie Jerome married Randolph Churchill, and 1914, 100 American heiresses married British peers. Drawing on letters, diaries and memoirs, Anne de Courcy explores the motives of these ‘Dollar Princesses’, their ambitious mothers, and the titled husbands they sought, setting the craving of ‘new money’ for social status against the needs of a landed aristocracy impoverished by agricultural depression.