Raymond Williams, whose other works include Keywords, The Country and the City,
Culture and Society, and Modern Tragedy, was one of the world’s foremost cultural critics. Almost uniquely, his work bridged the divides between aesthetic and socio-economic inquiry, between Marxist thought and mainstream liberal thought, and between the modern and post-modern world.
When The Long Revolution first appeared in 1961, much of the acclaim it received was based on its prescriptions for Britain in the ’60s, which form a relatively brief final section of the whole. The body of the book has since come to be recognized as one of the foundation documents in the cultural analysis of English-speaking culture. The “long revolution” of the title is a cultural revolution, which Williams sees as having unfolded alongside the democratic revolution and the industrial revolution.
With this book, Williams led the way in recognizing the importance of the growth of the popular press, the growth of standard English, and the growth the reading public in English-speaking culture and in Western culture as a whole. In addition, Williams’s discussion of how culture is to be defined and analyzed has been of considerable importance in the development of cultural studies as an independent discipline.
Originally published by Chatto & Windus, The Long Revolution is now available only in this Broadview Encore Edition.