On the Cusp: Days of '62 (Paperback)
  • On the Cusp: Days of '62 (Paperback)
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On the Cusp: Days of '62 (Paperback)

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Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 04/08/2022
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'Glorious ... It's rare to read anything so teeming with life' SPECTATOR, Books of the Year 'This is Kynaston at his best ... A rich and vivid picture of a nation in all its human complexity' IAN JACK 'A compulsive read ... Generous as well as sharp' MARGARET DRABBLE 'I was captivated by its brilliance' D. J. TAYLOR __________________ The 'real' Sixties began on 5 October 1962. On that remarkable Friday, the Beatles hit the world with their first single, 'Love Me Do', and the first James Bond film, Dr No, had its world premiere in London: two icons of the future heralding a social and cultural revolution. On the Cusp, continuing David Kynaston's groundbreaking history of post-war Britain, takes place during the summer and early autumn of 1962, in the charged months leading up to the moment that a country changed. The Rolling Stones' debut at the Marquee Club, the last Gentlemen versus Players match at Lord's, the issue of Britain's relationship with Europe starting to divide the country, Telstar the satellite beaming live TV pictures across the world, 'Telstar' the record a siren call to a techno future - these were months thick with incident, all woven together here with an array of fresh contemporary sources, including diarists both famous and obscure. Britain would never be the same again after these months. Sometimes indignant, sometimes admiring, always empathetic, On the Cusp evokes a world of seaside holidays, of church fetes, of Steptoe and Son - a world still of seemingly settled social and economic certainties, but in fact on the edge of fundamental change. ___________________ 'Sparkles with voices from a vanished world ... An entrancing representation, full of exquisite detail' KATE WILLIAMS 'What a joy it has been to find myself wholly immersed in the richness of Kynaston's account ... Thrilling' JULIET NICOLSON

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526632005
Number of pages: 256
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
For me the best book this year was David Kynaston's glorious On the Cusp ... It's rare to read anything so teeming with life - so many diverse voices offering their own glimpse of a world which, as Kynaston convincingly argues, was changing more dramatically than ever before or since. Many people have written about this period between the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles' first LP, but few have given such a rich sense of living through it -- Philip Hensher * Spectator, Books of the Year *
This is Kynaston at his best. A thousand glimpses of British life in 1962 produce a rich and vivid picture of a nation in all its human complexity, standing at the edge of great change. Beautifully woven, it yields surprises and fresh insights on every page - and in my case a blizzard of memories -- Ian Jack
A compulsive read. He is such a fine historian and sociologist, with an eye and ear for the unexpected, and a sharp sense of humour that makes the reader laugh aloud. It's generous as well as sharp. For me, it was like reliving some of the most exciting and hopeful months of my life, an illuminating exploration of an important stretch of time. -- Margaret Drabble
'Tales of a New Jerusalem' has already established itself as the definitive history of post-war Britain. This latest instalment has all the eye-catching detail and informed synthesis that Kynaston's admirers have come to expect. I was captivated by its brilliance -- D. J. Taylor
A fascinating crystal of time, Kynaston's superb evocation of Britain ... sparkles with voices from a vanished world ... An entrancing representation, full of exquisite detail and unforgettable voices, On the Cusp invites us in, to the real lives behind historical trends, a door to Britain on the brink of great change -- Kate Williams
What a joy it has been to find myself wholly immersed in the richness of Kynaston's account of those few amazing, ground-shifting months, just before we were all tipped into the drama of the 1960s proper. There is something hugely, hindsightingly thrilling in reading about the early seed-sowing of a story whose outcome we know so well * Juliet Nicolson *
With his eagle eye, Kynaston selects details and incidents that serve as emblems of larger shifts in the zeitgeist ... He is a wonderfully diligent chronicler of the changing face of popular culture at the time ... Kynaston is a master at mixing key political and social movements with the more humdrum details of everyday life -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday *
David Kynaston continues his magnificent series on postwar British society with On the Cusp, a riveting study of four pivotal summer months ... Kynaston is a master of popular culture ... But what Kynaston captures again and again - and this is what gives his book such importance - is the conscious, almost fanatical desire by those in authority at the time to dismantle, literally, evidence of the past -- Simon Heffer * Sunday Telegraph *
Kynaston skilfully uses private diaries, archives, memoirs, social surveys, newspapers and magazines to give the flavour of the period and what people were thinking not just in Westminster and Whitehall but in, for example, Birmingham, Manchester, Barrow-in-Furness, Keighley, Bournemouth and Llanfrothen in north Wales ... Absorbing * New Statesman *
It has all the characteristic hallmarks of [Kynaston's] writing: vivid pointillist detail, an extraordinary range of sources and penetrating analysis of evidence ... Kynaston is a master of minutiae and the great joy of his book is to be found in fragments, anecdotes and vignettes -- Piers Brendon * Literary Review *
Excellent * Choice Magazine *
Kynaston's impressive history of Britain comes to the year 1962 ... His ongoing achievement - aside from managing the prodigious quantities of material - is to convince his readers, who know well what comes next, of real lives being lived in near real time, and of a future as unwritten then as ours is today * Guardian *

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“The "real" 1960's began on Friday, October 5th 1962”

A remarkably detailed account of life in Britain in 1962. The author, David Kynaston, covers an astonishingly wide range of topics from agriculture and architecture through economics, culture and education to... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 5

“A superb entry in a superb ongoing series”

Mid to late 20th century Britain has two equally erudite chroniclers in David Kynaston and Peter Hennessy. Although both cover some of the same ground both bring so much intelligence and scope to their subject that... More

Hardback edition
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