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The Beatles in Context

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The Beatles' lives and work continue to delight fans and influence musicians half a century since their heyday. Yet their contribution to contemporary culture and their relationship to social change remain controversial topics in need of reappraisal. This two volume collection brings together two dozen leading scholars of the Beatles to examine their origins, output and legacy. Interdisciplinary in its approach and international is its outlook, Understanding The Beatles showcases the latest research by historians, art historians, musicologists, geographers, sociologists and cultural critics bringing new perspectives on The Beatles and their milieu which will interest academic and fans alike. Volume One, The Beatles in Context: Politics, Identify, Culture, explores the relationship between The Beatles and their times. It situates them in the changing class, gender and ethnic dynamics of postwar Britain, considers them as Liverpudlians and Orientalists, and compares them to contemporaries from Bob Dylan to Charles Manson. Volume Two, The Beatles and Their Audiences: Creativity, Reception, Interpretation focuses on the production, consumption and interpretation of The Beatles. Their creativity in the studio is considered alongside how they were managed, marketed and appreciated by multiple audiences from the 1960s to the present. Chapters on research and teaching The Beatles assess the current state of the field.

Published: Mar 1, 2022


Section Chapter Authors
Editor's Introduction
Understanding the Beatles: Polity, Identity, Context Marcus Collins
'Where you Once Belonged': Lennon and McCartney's Working Class Affiliations James McGrath
The Beatles and the Left Matthew Caygill
The Beatles and Black Liverpool Mark Christian
I Want to Hold Your Hand: Love, Marriage and The Beatles Lucy Brown
I'm a Loser: Masculinity and The Beatles as Singer-Songwriters Martin King
The Bohemian Beatles Colin Campbell
Magical Mystery Tour: Suburbia and Utopia in Music and Film Jonathan Goss
McCartney Remembers Marcus Collins
From Liverpool to Tibet: Tomorrow Never Knows and the Troubled Path to the East Sharif Gemie
'Misunderstanding All You See: Charles Manson Reading the Beatles at the End of the World Gerry Carlin, Mark Jones
John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Cultural Correspondence Marcus Collins