The 1960s witnessed the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the eruption of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the invention of the mini-skirt. The decade was politically and culturally explosive and its literature is no different. Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird made its controversial debut in 1960, setting the tone for the decade's book scene. The 1960s produced contentious classics like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (1962) and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962), titles that have appeared on countless banned book lists alongside Lee's only novel. Catch-22 (1961), Slaughterhouse-Five(1969) and The Bell Jar (1963) are no strangers to banned-book lists either, making the 1960s a very controversial decade for books, indeed.

But the literature of the '60s wasn't entirely dark and twisted. Beloved children's author Roald Dahl published hits James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964). Maurice Sendak wrote and illustrated Where the Wild Things Are, a story book still read at bedtime, and Dr. Suess delighted children with Green Eggs and Ham (1960) and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960).

From forgotten titles to old favourites, we've gone back in time and gathered the most collectable, sensational first editions from one of the most fascinating decades in history.


First Editions from the 1960s

What is your favourite book from the 1960s?