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Publisher Description

Shawn Levy, author of ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ brings alive London in the swinging Sixties with a gripping, groovy story of those who created the scene that changed the world.

This edition does not include illustrations.

For a few years in the 1960s, London was the coolest city on earth: a spontaneous, dizzying stew of pop music, fashion, film, scandal, drugs & sex, crime, the avant garde underground and the tabloid obsession with fame. The rest of the world watched in awe.

Snaking through it are such eminent swinging Londoners as The Dreamer (actor Terence Stamp), The Chameleon (Rolling Stone Mick Jagger), The Loner (Beatles manager Brian Epstein), The Snapper (photographer David Bailey) and The Blue Blood (art dealer Robert Fraser), as well as such figures as comedian Peter Cook; hairdresser Vidal Sassoon; singer Marianne Faithfull; fashion designer Mary Quant; supermodels Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy; gangsters Ron and Reggie Kray; actor Michael Caine; actresses Catherine Deneuve, Lynn Redgrave and Julie Christie; pop groups The Beatles, The Who and The Kinks; filmmakers Roman Polanski, Richard Lester and Michelangelo Antonioni; as well as the various participants in the Profumo scandal, the Great Train Robbery, the rise of LSD, the radical underground, the heyday of the gambling club and the fashion boutique and various and sundry scandals, scenes and sensations.

Due to a combination of massive talent and sheer luck, they dominated the world scene. But the party was to end – after seven short years it seemed that everyone was now a Swinging Londoner and the same vibe was found in Paris, New York and San Francisco.

‘Ready, Steady, Go’ recreates the whole show and contrasts a series of emblematic lives with the great events that shaped the time. Through these stories, Shawn Levy, author of ‘Rat Pack Confidential’, shows how the city reinvented cool and then seemed to lose its swing altogether.


'An atmospheric sense of period and some tremendous detail.' – Sunday Times

'Levy's Tom Wolfe-like immersion in the detail of this period is impressive.' – Guardian

Reviews for Rat Pack Confidential:

‘Scotch-on-the-rocks cool’ Loaded

‘A compulsive account of five men with America in their pockets – and the money, power and sense to bleed every last moment of fun out of it. An immense book.’ FHM

About the author

Shawn Levy is the author of King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis and the bestselling Rat Pack Confidential. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Movieline, Film Comment, and Pulse! He is a former senior editor of American Film.

June 5
Fourth Estate

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