By John F. Lyons (auth.)
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Extra resources for America in the British Imagination: 1945 to the Present
113 Not only were Britons still enjoying traditional leisure activities, but they were also modifying much of the American culture they encountered. The British dance bands played music that was more sedate and romantic and less focused on improvisation than American-based jazz. “The leading dance bands hardly ever played what the minority critics and connoisseurs would have called jazz. They had created an almost entirely new musical form,” jazz historian James Nott concluded. ”115 To remain successful in Britain, American advertising agencies had to adapt their style to domestic cultural traditions, sensibilities and humor.
The economic dominance of the United States in the postwar period, the growing afﬂuence of the British population and the technological innovations in mass communications brought many Britons into greater contact with American culture. The working classes attended dance halls, cinemas and eating establishments in greater numbers and bought more records, radios and televisions, all of which were important conduits of American ideas and products into Britain. The United States inﬂuenced the way Britons danced, the way they spoke, the food they ate and the clothes they wore.
5 Because of the high cost of the trip, unfavorable exchange rates and government restrictions on how much currency British residents could take out of the country, few Britons visited the United States in the immediate postwar years. British immigration to the United States slowed as Canada, Australia and New Zealand made concerted efforts to attract British immigrants with offers of ﬁnancial incentives and subsidized passages. Most children learned about Britain and Europe, not the United States, in school and college.
America in the British Imagination: 1945 to the Present by John F. Lyons (auth.)