Many books have been written on the Sixties: tributes to music and fashion, sex, drugs and revolution. In The Sixties, Jenny Diski breaks the mould, wryly dismantling the big ideas that dominated the era – liberation, permissiveness and self-invention – to consider what she and her generation were really up to. Was it rude to refuse to have sex with someone? Did they take drugs to get by, or to see the world differently? How responsible were they for the self-interest and greed of the Eighties?
With characteristic wit and verve, Diski takes an incisive look at the radical beliefs to which her generation subscribed, little realising they were often old ideas dressed up in new forms, sometimes patterned by BIBA. She considers whether she and her peers were as serious as they thought about changing the world, if the radical sixties were funded by the baby-boomers' parents, and if the big idea shaping the Sixties was that it really felt as if it meant something to be young.