Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History, the New Left, by Dennis Dworkin

By Dennis Dworkin

In this highbrow background of British cultural Marxism, Dennis Dworkin explores the most influential our bodies of up to date suggestion. Tracing its improvement from beginnings in postwar Britain, via its numerous modifications within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies, to the emergence of British cultural reviews at Birmingham, and as much as the appearance of Thatcherism, Dworkin indicates this background to be one in all a coherent highbrow culture, a convention that represents an implicit and particular theoretical attempt to solve the problem of the postwar British Left.
Limited to neither a unmarried self-discipline nor a specific highbrow determine, this publication comprehensively perspectives British cultural Marxism when it comes to the discussion among historians and the originators of cultural stories and in its dating to the hot left and feminist pursuits. From the contributions of Eric Hobsbawm, Christopher Hill, Rodney Hilton, Sheila Rowbotham, Catherine corridor, and E. P. Thompson to these of Perry Anderson, Barbara Taylor, Raymond Williams, Dick Hebdige, and Stuart corridor, Dworkin examines the debates over problems with tradition and society, constitution and supplier, event and beliefs, and concept and perform. the increase, dying, and reorganization of journals akin to The Reasoner, The New Reasoner, Universities and Left Review, New Left Review, Past and Present, also are a part of the heritage instructed during this quantity. In each example, the point of interest of Dworkin’s cognizance is the highbrow paintings noticeable in its political context. Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain captures the buzz and dedication that multiple new release of historians, literary critics, artwork historians, philosophers, and cultural theorists have felt approximately an unorthodox and important culture of Marxist theory.

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Extra resources for Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History, the New Left, and the Origins of Cultural Studies

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39 During the Cold War years Marxist historians felt beleaguered, defensive, and isolated. Despite their professed goal o f establishing a progressive coalition o f historians, they frequendy felt and acted more like an embatded minority in a hostile environment. Hill recalled that members o f the Oxford establishment regarded him as a “ tame” and therefore acceptable Marxist, and they regarded a Communist in their midst as proof o f their liberalism. 41 It is noteworthy that—Hill notwith­ standing—none o f the Marxist historians o f this generation, despite international recognition, would ever hold permanent positions at Oxford or Cambridge.

138 Among the historians, Hill was originally drawn to Marxism because it illuminated Metaphysical poetry. His rejection o f the simplest versions o f the base/superstructure model—even in his early work—may have partially resulted from his understanding that seventeenth-century literary sources were essential to an un­ derstanding o f the period. As he wrote in 1985: “ It does not seem to me possible to understand the history o f seventeenth-century England without understanding its literature, any more than it is possible frilly to appreciate the literature without understanding the history” 139 Kiernan s interest in Marxist theory was inseparable from his love and respect for the English literary tradition.

In its early stages, at least, they championed the French Revolution. ” 132 Kiernan praised Wordsworth’s democratic spirit, his passionate hatred of government, poverty, and industrial­ ization, his devotion to the old rural ways, and his admiration for 42 C u ltu r a l M a rx is m in P o s tw a r B rita in the unadorned life of the common laborer. Yet he also emphasized that Wordsworth was incapable of more than sympathy for the oppressed: “ He missed the good side because he had no faith in men’s ability to control what they had created.

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