Englishness and Empire 1939-1965

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213 Citations (Scopus)


Did loss of imperial power and the end of empire have any significant impact on British culture and identity after 1945? Within a burgeoning literature on national identity and what it means to be British this is a question that has received surprisingly little attention. Drawing on extensive research in media archives, this book investigates popular narratives of nation, and the significance of empire in shaping national identity after 1939. What were the tensions and uncertainties involved in defining a post-imperial nation? How did imperial legacies inform questions about who belonged in Britain and debates about race, immigration and nationality? What did the Commonwealth mean? What was the significance of America to the making of a post-imperial nation? Focusing on stories told through prolific filmic and television imagery-- the Second World War, the Coronation, the conquest of Everest, colonial wars of the 1950s, Winston Churchill's funeral--the book explores how far, and in what contexts and unexpected places, imperial identity and loss of imperial power resonated in popular narratives of nation. culture. 

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages264
ISBN (Electronic)9780191718069
ISBN (Print)9780199226641, 0199226644, 9780199258604, 0397448384
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


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