Resources of Hope: Culture, Democracy, Socialism

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Verso Books, Feb 23, 2016 - Political Science - 358 pages
Collected essays and talks from one of Britain’s great thinkers, ranging across political and cultural theory

Raymond Williams possessed unique authority as Britain’s foremost cultural theorist and public intellectual. Informed by an unparalleled range of reference and the resources of deep personal experience, his life’s work represents a patient, exemplary commitment to the building of a socialist future.

This book brings together important early writings including “Culture is Ordinary,” “The British Left,” “Welsh Culture” and “Why Do I Demonstrate?” with major essays and talks of the last decade. It includes work on such central themes as the nature of a democratic culture, the value of community, Green socialism, the nuclear threat, and the relation between the state and the arts. Here too, collected for the first time, are the important later political essays which undertake a thorough revaluation of the principles fundamental to the idea of socialist democracy, and confirm Williams as a shrewd and imaginative political theorist. In a sober yet constructive assessment of the possibilities for socialist advance, Williams—in the face of much recent intellectual fashion—powerfully reasserts his lifelong commitment to “making hope practical, rather than despair convincing.”

This valuable collection confirms Raymond Williams as a thinker of rare versatility and one of the outstanding intellectuals of our century.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
Culture is Ordinary
Communications and Community
The Idea of a Common Culture
The Arts Council
Why Do I Demonstrate?
Youre a Marxist Arent You?
Commitment and Alignment
An Alternative Politics
Problems of the Coming Period
Socialists and Coalitionists
The Politics of Nuclear Disarmament
Socialism and Ecology
Between Country and City
Decentralism and the Politics of Place
The Forward March of Labour Halted?

Freedom as Duty
Welsh Culture
The Social Significance of 1926
The Importance of Community
Key Words in the Miners Strike
The British Left
Ideas and the Labour Movement
Democracy and Parliament
Walking Backwards into the Future
Hesitations before Socialism
Towards Many Socialisms
The Practice of Possibility
Select Bibliography
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About the author (2016)

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.

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