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Problems in Materialism and Culture
This collection is a classic because nowhere else is Williams’ work presented as well and as completely. His essay on base and superstructure is really a solid framework for understanding how Marxism has been implemented culturally and theoretically.
Raymond Williams was the founder of an approach that was to become 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 25-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. Raymond Williams is the author of “The Politics of Modernism”, “Writing in Society”, “Politics and Letters” and “Resources of Hope”, as well as “The Country and the City”, “Keywords” and “Marxism and Literature”.