The Edinburgh Festivals

Culture and Society in Post-war Britain

Angela Bartie

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Post-war culture and society and the Edinburgh Festivals

The Edinburgh Festival is the world’s largest arts festival. It has also been the site of numerous ‘culture wars’ since it began in 1947. Key debates that took place across the western world about the place of culture in society, the practice and significance of the arts, censorship, the role of organised religion, and meanings of morality were all reflected in contest over culture in the Festival City.

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Acknowledgements of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
1. Introduction
2. The Cultural Resort of Europe: The Creation of the Festival, 1944-1947
3. Cultural Challenge: The Creation of a ‘Fringe’, 1947-1955
4. Convergence of Cultures: New Developments in the Arts, 1956-1962
5. Culture and Im(morality): The Year of the Happening, 1963
6. Cultural Explosion: The Arts and Moral Conflict in Edinburgh in the High Sixties, 1964-1967
7. Cultural Crisis? Protest and Reaction, 1968-1970
8. Conclusion
Appendix 1: List of Lord Provosts/Edinburgh Festival Society Chairs and Artistic Directors, 1947-1970
Appendix 2: Short Biographies of Oral History Interviewees
‘Angela Bartie’s history of Edinburgh’s summer festivals, from their post-war creation to the early years of the 1970s, deserves to become established as the pre-eminent text on its subject. Written with an eye for detail, an authoritative tone and frequent footnoted references to a broad range of sources, Bartie’s history sets itself apart from many of the previous histories of the festivals.’
Book of the Old Edinburgh Club
...makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of a critical time.
Christopher Hilliard, University of Sydney, Journal of British Studies 53.3
Shows how, every August, Edinburgh becomes the arena for debates about culture and society that have Scottish, British and international significance. For anyone interested in Scotland’s future, this is essential reading.
Robert Hewison
Angela Bartie is a lecturer in History at the University of Strathclyde and co-editor of The International Writers' Conference Revisited:Edinburgh, 1962.

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