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Swinging City (Re-Materialising Cultural Geography)


This book works with two contrasting imaginings of 1960s London: the one of the excess and comic vacuousness of Swinging London, the other of the radical and experimental cultural politics generating by the city's counter-culture. The connections between these two scenes is mapped looking firstly at the spectacular events that shaped post-war London, then moves through the modernist physical and social reconstruction of the city together with artistic experiments such as Pop Art. The book then looks at the replacement of this seemingly materialistic image with the counter-culture of Underground London from the mid-1960s. The book argues that these disparate threads cohere around a shared imagination associated with a new understanding of nature which differently positioned humanity and technology. Post-war London reasserted itself as a cultural capital, often by appropriating cultural innovations from the provinces and by exploiting its strategic international position. This book is an attempt to address the gap in our understanding of the dynamics of this transformation.

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