Download e-book for kindle: America in the British Imagination: 1945 to the Present by John F. Lyons (auth.)

By John F. Lyons (auth.)

How used to be American tradition disseminated into Britain? Why did many British electorate embody 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 battle II period.

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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.

5 Because of the high cost of the trip, unfavorable exchange rates and government restrictions on how much currency British residents could take out of the country, few Britons visited the United States in the immediate postwar years. British immigration to the United States slowed as Canada, Australia and New Zealand made concerted efforts to attract British immigrants with offers of financial incentives and subsidized passages. Most children learned about Britain and Europe, not the United States, in school and college.

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.

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