Tariq Ali

Myopic Vision

The Sixies

By Channel Four

The Sixties

By Francis Wheen

Century 176pp ilus £8.95; £6.95 paper order from our bookshop

Poor Francis Wheen. He was undoubtedly given an impossible brief. Compiling a book to accompany a television series is rarely an exercise designed to stimulate creative thinking. When the series in question is fundamentally flawed the result is, unsurprisingly, mediocre. The Sixties looks and reads like a giant colour supplement, though mercifully without the ads. Pearce Marchbank’s design is pleasing; the photographs are well chosen; there is an over-concentration on the form rather than the content. It is not that Wheen has not done his homework. The problem lies in the TV series rather than in the book.

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