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Digital Subscriptions > BBC History Revealed > July 2019 > Books

Books

This month’s best historical reads

MEET THE AUTHOR

Social historian Virginia Nicholson explains why the 1960s can’t be written off as a “long, luscious debauch”, and how modern feminists might learn from that turbulent decade

How Was It For You? Women, Sex, Love and Power in the 1960s

By Virginia Nicholson

Viking, £20, hardback, 512 pages

This evocative, empathetic account of the so-called ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s opens with a striking thought experiment: imagine the pensioners around you today as they were some 50 years ago, when they were young people buffeted by the opportunities and the strictures of a decade of political and social change. As Virginia Nicholson skilfully argues, change didn’t happen quickly, and nor did it happen for everyone. Trough interviews with a cast of fascinating women, she sketches the ways in which fashion, music, politics and sex offered new forms of self-expression – and the chance to change Britain forever.

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About BBC History Revealed

For most of us, when we think of the Wild West, we imagine gunslinging cowboys, dusty prairies and swinging saloon bar doors – not to mention rolling tumbleweed. But was the American West really all that wild? Plus: the remarkable women whose work at Bletchley Park helped break the Enigma Code in World War II, the French Revolution told through seven severed heads and the Stonewall Riots, flashpoint for the fight for gay rights in the US.