Priestley's England: J. B. Priestley and English Culture

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Manchester University Press, 2007 - History - 213 pages
Priestley's England is the first full-length academic study of J B Priestley—novelist, playwright, screen-writer, journalist and broadcaster, political activist, public intellectual and popular entertainer, one of the makers of 20th-century Britain, and one of its sharpest critics. The book explores the cultural, literary and political history of 20th-century Britain through the themes which preoccupied Priestley throughout his life: competing versions of Englishness; tradition, modernity and the decline of industrial England; 'Americanisation', mass culture and 'Admass'; cultural values and 'broadbrow' culture; consumerism and the decay of the public sphere; the loss of spirituality and community in 'the nervous excitement, the frenzy, the underlying despair of our century'. It argues that Priestley has been unjustly neglected for too long: we have a great deal to learn both from this extraordinary, multi-faceted man, and from the English radical tradition he represented. This book will appeal to all those interested in the culture and politics of 20th-century Britain, in the continuing debates over 'Englishness' to which Priestley made such a key contribution, and in the life and work of one of the most remarkable and popular writers of the past century.
 

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Contents

A serious writer with a message
5
Bruddersford and beyond
35
Englands and Englishness
76
This new England
105
Priestleys war
140
New Jerusalem and beyond
166
Bibliography
194
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J.B. Priestley
Maggie Barbara Gale
No preview available - 2008

About the author (2007)

John Baxendale is Principal Lecturer in Social and Cultural History at Sheffield Hallam University.

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