Second World War influenced greatly the ideological and economic life of Britain.
During the war Great Britain suffered heavy financial losses. The post-war program of the Labour Party became the only hope for a better future for the British people. It promised to do away with unemployment, to improve living conditions, to level out prices. Great attention in the program was paid to cooperation with the Soviet Union. So the elections of 1945 brought defeat to the Conservatives and ensured victory to the Labour Party.
Very soon, however, the British people saw that the policy of the labour leaders did not differ much from that of their predecessors. From 1946 Great Britain faced strong resistance on the part of the oppressed people of India and Egypt. Great Britain was losing one colony after another: independence was achieved by India, Burma and Ceylon.
The failure of the Labour Government that promised a lot and did nothing, Cold War and the atomic threat, the rapid intensification of the cultural and moral crisis — these were the factors in the 50s—60s which influenced the minds of the British people, particularly the intellectuals, and caused their disillusionment.
Angry Young Men, various British novelists and playwrights who emerged in the 1950s and expressed scorn and disaffection with the established sociopolitical order of their country. Their impatience and resentment were especially aroused by what they perceived as the hypocrisy and mediocrity of the upper and middle classes.
The Angry Young Men were a new breed of intellectuals who were mostly of working class or of lower middle-class origin. Some had been educated at the postwar red-brick universities at the state’s expense, though a few were from Oxford . They shared an outspoken irreverence for the British class system, its traditional network of pedigreed families, and the elitist Oxford and Cambridge universities.They showed an equally uninhibited disdain for the drabness of the postwar welfare state, and their writings frequently expressed raw anger and frustration as the postwar reforms failed to meet exalted aspirations for genuine change. The trend that was evident in John Wain (1954) by Kingsley Amis, which became the representative work of the movement
Among the other writers embraced in the term are the novelists John Braine (Room at the Top, 1957) and Alan Sillitoe and the playwrights Bernard Kops (The Hamlet of Stepney Green, 1956) and Arnold Wesker (Chicken Soup with Barley, 1958). Like that of the Beat movement in the United States , the impetus of the Angry Young Men was exhausted in the early 1960s.