Recent voices The 1960s to the 1980s
In literary terms the 1950s and 1960s belong together in that many dominant writers of the sixties, such as Beckett and Pinter, Golding and Larkin, had made their first impact in the fifties; but in social terms the sixties have acquired a distinct identity, coloured by associations of vital break-out like those of the twenties. The decade saw independence granted to numerous former imperial territories, it saw a massive swing from conservatism to socialism and back again, it saw the opening of new universities, the rapid development of comprehensive education, the expansion of computerisation, and the construction of motorways. President Kennedy was assassinated and the American astronauts landed on the moon, while at home the decade witnessed the great train robbery, the Profumo scandal, the thalidomide births, the growth of pop culture, the advent of the hippies and drop-outs. The decade also saw the abolition of theatre censorship, the legalisation of adult homosexual practices, and general acceptance of the contraceptive pill.
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