1956: a defining year that heralded the modern era.Britain and France occupied Suez, and the Soviet Union tanks rolled into Hungary. Nikita Khrushchev's'secret speech' exposed the crimes of Stalin, and the Royal Court Theatre unveiled John Osborne's Look Back in Anger. Rock 'n' roll music was replacing the gentle pop songs of Mum and Dad's generation, and it was the first full year of independent television.As post-war assumptions were shattered, the upper middle class was shaken and the communist left was shocked, radical new ideas about sex, skiffle and socialism emerged, and attitudes shifted on an unprecedented scale - precipitated by the decline of Attlee's Britain and the first intimations of Thatcher's.From politics and conflict to sport and entertainment, this extraordinary book transports us back in time on a whirlwind journey through the history, headlines and happenings of this most momentous of years, vividlycapturing the revolutionary spirit of 1956 - the year that changed Britain.
Francis Beckett is an author, journalist, broadcaster and contemporary historian. He is the author of Blair Inc, with David Hencke and Nick Kochan. He has also written biographies of Aneurin Bevan, Clement Attlee, Harold Macmillan and Gordon Brown.Tony Russell is a social historian of popular and vernacular music and the author of several books, including Blacks, Whites and Blues(1970), The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray (1997) and Country Music Originals: The Legends and the Lost (2007). He has been a consultant on and contributor to numerous TV and radio programmes, writes obituaries for The Guardian and reviews books and music for a wide range of periodicals.