Sources and references

Useful accounts of the social and cultural history of the UK during this period can be found in:

Hewison, Robert (1988) In Anger: Culture in the Cold War 1945-1960 Revised paperback edition, London: Methuen

Kynaston, David (2015) Modernity Britain 1957-1962 London: Bloomsbury

Sinfield, Alan (1989) Literature, Politics and Culture in Postwar Britain Oxford: Blackwell


Other texts I have used here include, on the beats:

Protest: The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men, edited by Gene Feldman and Max Gartenberg was published by Souvenir Press in 1959

Belletto, Stephen (2017) The Cambridge Companion to the Beats Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Bisbort, Alan (2010) Beatniks: A Guide to an American Subculture Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press

Sterritt, David (2013) The Beats: A Very Short Introduction Oxford: Oxford University Press

Sterritt, David (2004) Screening in the Beats: Media Culture and the Beat Sensibility Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press


Longer histories of youth culture include:

Fowler, David (2008) Youth Culture in Modern Britain c.1920-c.1970 Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Savage, J. (2007) Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945 London: Chatto and Windus


Work on British youth culture in the 1950s:

Abrams, Mark (1959) The Teenage Consumer London: London Press Exchange

Abrams, Mark (1961) Teenage Consumer Spending in 1959: Part 2 London: London Press Exchange

Horn, Adrian (2009) Juke Box Britain: Americanisation and Youth Culture 1945-60 Manchester: Manchester University Press

Jefferson, Tony (1976) ‘Cultural responses of the teds: the defence of space and status’, in Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson (eds.) Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain London: Hutchinson

McKay, George (2005) Circular Breathing: The Cultural Politics of Jazz in Britain Durham, NC: Duke University Press

Nuttall, Jeff (1968) Bomb Culture London: McGibbon and Kee


Accounts of London during this period include:

Miles, Barry (2010) London Calling: A Countercultural History of London Since 1945 London: Atlantic

Mort, Frank (2010) Capital Affairs: London and the Making of the Permissive Society New Haven: Yale University Press

Rycroft, Simon (2011) Swinging City: A Cultural Geography of London 1950-1974 Aldershot: Ashgate


Material by New Left writers:

Allcorn, Derek (1958) ‘The unnoticed generation’, Universities and Left Review 4: 54-58

Gosling, Ray (1960) ‘Dream boy’, New Left Review 1(3): 30-34

Gosling, Ray (1961) ‘Ordinary kids’, New Left Review 1(11): 57-58

Gosling, Ray (1980) Personal Copy: A Memoir of the Sixties London: Faber and Faber

Gosling, Ray (1961) Lady Albemarle’s Boys London: Fabian Society

Hall, Stuart (1959) ‘Politics of adolescence’, Universities and Left Review 6: 2-4

Hall, Stuart (1959) ‘Absolute beginnings: reflections on the secondary modern generation’, Universities and Left Review 7, 17-25

Hoggart, Richard (1958) The Uses of Literacy Harmondsworth: Penguin


Commentary on the New Left:

Bentley, N. (2005) ‘The Young Ones: A reassessment of the British New Left’s representation of 1950’s youth subcultures’, European Journal of Cultural Studies 8(1): 65-83

Moran, J. (2006) ‘Milk bars, Starbucks and the uses of literacy’, Cultural Studies 20(6): 552-573

Owen, Sue (ed.) (2008) Richard Hoggart and Cultural Studies Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan


On the films considered here:

Donnelly, K.J. (1998) ‘The Perpetual Busman’s Holiday: Sir Cliff Richard and British Pop Musicals’, Journal of Popular Film and Television 25:4, 146-154

Fink, Janet and Tinkler, Penny (2017) Teetering on the edge: portraits of innocence, risk and young female sexualities in 1950s’ and 1960s’ British cinema. Women’s History Review, 26(1): 9-25


On MacInnes:

England Half English was published by McGibbon and Kee, London, 1961

The three London novels are most easily available in an omnibus edition, published by Allison and Busby (1985).

For a biography of MacInnes, see Tony Gould, Insider Outsider: The Life and Times of Colin MacInnes London; Allsion and Busby, 1993

I have also consulted:

Bentley, Nick (2003) ‘Writing 1950s London: Narrative Strategies in Colin MacInnes’s City of Spades and Absolute BeginnersLiterary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London,

Derdinger, Paula (2016) ‘To drag out a rough poetry: Colin MacInnes and the New Brutalism in Post-War Britain’, Modern Fiction Studies 62(1): 53-69

Various short pieces on the London Fictions website, including one on Absolute Beginners by Jerry White:

The quote from Julien Temple comes from a Guardian Article from 2015: ‘How we made Absolute Beginners’


Film and video:

The Alan Whicker item on beatniks in Newquay is on YouTube:

The film We Are the Lambeth Boys (dir. Karel Reisz, 1959) is available on YouTube:

Look at Life on coffee bars is also on YouTube:

Beat Girl is available on the BFI Player, other films are on DVD