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Politics of Modernism (Radical Thinkers) Paperback – 15 Jan 2007


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"One of Williams's most striking qualities as a writer is a rare combination of reason and feeling... a toughly analytic mind is fuelled by the rich emotional resources of a creative writer." - Terry Eagleton"

About the Author

Raymond Williams was born in 1921 in the Welsh border village of Pandy. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and after the war taught for many years as an adult education tutor. In 1961 he became a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and University Lecturer in English. He was Professor of Drama at Cambridge from 1974 until his retirement in 1983. Raymond Williams died in January 1988. His many books include Culture and Society (1958), The Long Revolution (1961), Modern Tragedy (1966), The Country and the City (1973), Marxism and Literature (1977), Politics and Letters (1979), Problems in Materialism and Culture (1980), Towards 2000 (1983), Resources of Hope (1989) and several novels.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
It's not the politics you're thinking of 7 Jun. 2010
By K. Floyd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Politics of Modernism is a fantastic look at the way that political climates inform artistic movements. It's got a very specific Marxist bent to it, but the idea that art is not something we make up out of the air is compelling. He argues that in every generation the bourgeois produce unique, distinctively bourgeois dissidents. Modernism wasn't just an artistic movement, it came also from calls for women's rights, anti-imperialism, etc. I was shocked to read his assessment of the present economic crisis: "Managed affluence has slid into an anxiously managed by perhaps unmanageable depression. Some political consensus underlying it has been visibly breaking down, and especially at the level of everyday life [...] the dominant messages are of danger and conflict, and that the dominant forms are of shock and loss [....] Yet these rhythms are familiar to history. They can be traced, with some accuracy, to a dying social order and a dying class" (96). Except that this was written in 1972, which proves that these things are cyclical, despite their appearance of being unique every time. I have to confess at this point that I am, in fact, a literary Marxist a lot of the time, but after reading Williams' manifesto you'll probably find that you are too.
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