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.
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