By John F. Lyons (auth.)
How was once American tradition disseminated into Britain? Why did many British electorate include American customs? And what photograph did they type 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 impact on British society within the post-World struggle II period.
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Extra resources for America in the British Imagination: 1945 to the Present
Some of the Glasgow heavies had even visited New York and come back speaking in pseudo-American accents. 86 The Hollywood image spread its appeal beyond gangsters. In 1946, Cecil Gee, a men’s cloths shop in London, launched an “American Look,” based on suits worn by ﬁlm stars like Cary Grant and Clark Gable in the 1930s: pinstriped suits with broad-shouldered, double-breasted, wide-lapel jackets. Cecil Gee imported shirts with long pointed collars from the United States, hand-painted ties and widebrimmed American hats.
The economic dominance of the United States in the postwar period, the growing afﬂuence of the British population and the technological innovations in mass communications brought many Britons into greater contact with American culture. The working classes attended dance halls, cinemas and eating establishments in greater numbers and bought more records, radios and televisions, all of which were important conduits of American ideas and products into Britain. The United States inﬂuenced the way Britons danced, the way they spoke, the food they ate and the clothes they wore.
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.
America in the British Imagination: 1945 to the Present by John F. Lyons (auth.)