COLLINS, M., 2013. 'The Age of the Beatles': parliament and popular music in 1960s Britain. Contemporary British History, 27 (1), pp. 85–107.
This article examines how the unprecedented popularity and symbolic power of the Beatles forced politicians in Britain to attend to popular music in the 1960s. It argues that parliamentarians were ill-equipped to comprehend not only the Beatles but also the new social forces with which they were associated. They reacted with a mixture of jocularity, partisan point-scoring and earnest debates over art, class, youth and the state. Their general bewilderment testified to how the 1960s ‘cultural revolution’ exceeded the limits of the knowable and actionable in Westminster.