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Thugs in drape jackets: when the Teddy Boys ruled the roost

Bleak 1950s Britain saw the birth of the first working-class youth counterculture, but the Teds were a surprisingly short-lived – if violent – phenomenon

10 February 2024

9:00 AM

10 February 2024

9:00 AM

Teddy Boys: Post-War Britain and the First Youth Revolution Max Décharné

Profile Books, pp.328, 25

In the wake of wars, youth cults spring up, those too young to have fought behaving in a way to scandalise those who did. The Bright Young People were the younger siblings of those who perished, battalion by battalion, on the Western Front. (Come to that, it was after the end of the Peloponnesian War that Socrates’s corruption of the youth became intolerable to Athens.)

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