Synopses & Reviews
Raymond Williams is a towering presence in cultural studies, most importantly as the founder of the approach that has come to be known as “cultural materialism.” Yet Williams’s method was always open-ended and fluid, and this volume collects together his most significant work from over a twenty-year period in which he wrestled with the concepts of materialism and culture and their interrelationship. Aside from his more directly theoretical texts, however, case-studies of theatrical naturalism, the Bloomsbury group, advertising, science fiction, and the Welsh novel are also included as illustrations of the method at work. Finally, Williams’s identity as an active socialist, rather than simply an academic, is captured by two unambiguously political pieces on the past, present and future of Marxism.
Radical Thinkers Classic Editions is a selection of Verso’s leading titles, celebrating forty years of New Left Books and Verso. Hardback and embossed with foil, these are essential new editions of the highlights from four decades of uncompromising, radical publishing.
About the Author
'\'Theodor Adornowas director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt from 1956 until his death in 1969. His works include In Search of Wagner; Aesthetic Theory; Negative Dialectics; and (with Max Horkheimer) Dialectic of Enlightenment.
Louis Althusserwas born in Algeria in 1918 and died in France in 1990. He taught philosophy for many years at the Ecole Normale Superieur in Paris, and was a leading intellectual in the French Communist Party. His books include For Marx; Reading Capital(with Etienne Balibar); Essays in Ideology; Politics and History: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Marx; Machiavelli and Us; and The Spectre of Hegel.Walter Benjaminwas a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher. He was at times associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and is the author of Illuminations, The Arcades Project, and The Origin of German Tragic Drama.Ernst Bloch (1885-1977) is one of the most important German Marxist thinkers of the 20th century and one of the great theorists of utopia. A friend of Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht and Theodor Adorno, his works include The Principle of Hope, Spirit of Utopiaand Traces.
Bertolt Brecht(1898-1956) was a German poet, playwright, and theater director. An influential theater practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble—the post-war theater company operated by Brecht and his wife and long-time collaborator, the actress Helene Weigel—with its internationally acclaimed productions.Georg Lukacs (1885-1971) was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic. Most scholars consider him to be the founder of the tradition of Western Marxism. He contributed the ideas of reification and class consciousness to Marxist philosophy and theory, and his literary criticism was influential in thinking about realism and about the novel as a literary genre. He served briefly as Hungary\\\'s Minister of Culture following the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.Raymond Williams(1921–1988) was for many years Professor of Drama at the University of Cambridge. Among his many books are Culture and Society, Culture and Materialism, Politics and Letters, Problems in Materialism and Culture, and several novels.\''