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How used to be American tradition disseminated into Britain? Why did many British voters include American customs? And what photograph did they kind of American society and politics? This enticing and wide-ranging historical past explores those and different questions on the U.S.'s cultural and political impression on British society within the post-World warfare II period.
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Additional info for America in the British Imagination: 1945 to the Present
R. Fyvel noted “the Italian style,” which was taken up by steadily increasing numbers of working-class boys. The main components of the style were short jackets, fully draped at the back and at ﬁrst often broadly striped on the Italian pattern. The trousers were narrow; shirts could be coloured as well as white and cuffs and handkerchiefs were prominently shown. The new shoes were ﬁnely pointed on the Italian model and in London called Pickers or Pointers. The look was topped off with Italian- and French-style short crew-cut haircuts without oil or grease.
Audiences were seated in a mock Mediterranean courtyard with Spanish-style balconies and twinkling stars and passing clouds in the black ceiling above them. The stage, spanned by a huge decorous arch, was equipped with a Wurlitzer organ that supplied musical interludes. Once the red satin curtain drew back and the lights went down, a beam of light from the projection room at the back of the theater cut through the cigarette smoke of a crowded cinema and opened onto a huge screen at the front. 80 Britons did not just watch American movie stars on the silver screen, they also imitated their make-up, clothes and hair.
The Twist was not universally welcomed, as a 14-year-old schoolboy, Jeff Dexter, found out when he attempted the Twist in the Lyceum ballroom in London. In with the record was a picture of the foot movements and how you were supposed to do it. So I followed the instructions, did the Twist and got barred from the Lyceum for being obscene. Everybody was still jiving at the time. 75 The Twist may not have been the ﬁrst dance where couples danced independently, but it was the one that became the most inﬂuential and set a trend that helped to end the practice of twirling couples holding hands and of the male dancer leading and the female following.
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