The godfather of the political left on culture and communications
Williams's fascinating investigation into forms of communication as they stood in 1962 - computers, radio, television, printing, photography, film - remains remarkably relevant today. The idea that reality is primary, and that communication of that reality secondary, is debunked - if we take the view that there is life, and then afterwards accounts of it, we degrade art and learning. Communications are, he argues, a major way in which reality is continually formed and changed. This is Williams's compelling introduction to modern means and institutions of communication.
“A most valuable book for anyone concerned with the estate of the chief means of communication in this country - television, films, theatre, advertising, books and magazines”
“His complex character, indeed his whole life, was held together by two qualities - scholarship and political conviction - which made him a major influence on three decades of political thought”
“He was the foremost political thinker of his generation in Britain who in his most formidable books, Culture And Society, The Long Revolution and The Country and the City, redrew the map of our cultural history, and elsewhere made heroic interventions in the main political debates of his time”
“For those who read English in the '60s, it was common to revere Williams as both a rock of integrity and a pathfinder for new ways of seeing culture, communication, class and democracy”
“He shows us the language and imagery, the beliefs and developed ideas, the hidden assumptions and class biases, and the 'structures of feeling' of literally hundreds of writers, major and minor, poets and pamphleteers, geniuses and hacks. . . . His erudition is immense”