Culture and Society


364 pages | Indexed

ISBN: 978 0 85124 8189




by Raymond Williams

A clear new edition of Williams’s classic text is long overdue. Following our acclaimed edition of The Country and the City, published in 2011, Spokesman are pleased to add Culture and Society to our list. Raymond Williams’s voice resonates strongly in the new era that he anticipated in some of his later writings.

‘The organising principle of this book is the discovery that the idea of culture, and the word itself in its general modern uses, came into English thinking in the period which we commonly describe as that of the Industrial Revolution. The book is an attempt to show how and why this happened. It thus becomes an account and interpretation of our responses in thought and feeling to the changes in English society since the late eighteenth century. Only in such a context can our use of the word ‘culture’, and the issues to which the word refers, be adequately understood.’

Raymond Williams, from his Foreword

‘The idea of culture is not so much what must be learnt as the warning that there is nevertheless something to learn. That is the most general argument of Williams’s classic, and one that, fifty years on, still claims us.’
Francis Mulhern, New Left Review

‘Culture, I realised, was not just some decoration for the lives of an ´┐Żlite. The word has it origin in something that every gardener knows – the tending of natural growth. This applies to everyone, however well or badly we are tended. There is a common culture in every society.’
Michael Barratt Brown from his new Foreword