Forty years ago, at the 1960 Edinburgh Festival, four young men - Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett - walked on to a stage and the change the face not merely of British comedy but of social attitudes in this country. Beyond the Fringe was iconoclastic, fracturing the 'culture of deference' which had predominated in the 1950s. It was the forerunner of an explosion of satire which included The Establishment Club, Private Eye and the BBC's daring weekly satire show, That Was the Week that Was. Award-winning biographer Humphrey Carpenter evokes the atmosphere of 1950s Britain and the social and political conditions which enraged and inspired the satirists, and brings vibrantly alive this amusing but also key period of British cultural life. The book is based on original, in-depth interviews with most of the key personalities, including Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller, Richard Ingrams, Barry Humphreys, Ned Sherrin and the late John Wells. It includes sketches from Beyond the Fringe which never made it to London, and much of the hilarious material which went into TWTWTW, as well as fascinating material from the BBC archives.