‘Kaleidoscopic Sixties,’ is a survey of the Sixties in Britain. The survey in this chapter comes from a variety of sources and is not meant to be definitive. The story of the Sixties is meant to set a backdrop to the lives of the research participants. The Sixties are long gone, yet there continue to be echoes of that time. The Sixties are described from a cultural and historical perspective, creating a context for the lives of the postwar generation. The Sixties have been defined as the ‘long decade’ from 1958 to 1973 (Marwick, 1998). The postwar cohort came of age in the Sixties, and entered full adulthood at the time of the recession and oil crisis. They were bequeathed the National Health Service (NHS) and the Pill, among a raft of other intergenerational gifts. There was an interplay between what was bequeathed and the postwar generation’s own choices and activities in the constructing of the Sixties era. A range of topics are covered, from the new rhythmicity of music and dance to feminism, the Pill, a shift to modern household conveniences, fashion, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Earthrise, among others.
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