Commentary on Raymond Williams tends to stress either his role in the formation of the British New Left or his intellectual status as a literary and cultural critic or his significance as a distinctively Welsh writer. The cumulative effect of McGuigan's closely argued introduction and carefully chosen set of extracts is to mount a powerful case for a surprisingly original addition to this repertoire: that of Williams as a major sociological thinker in his own right.
The most important Marxist cultural theorist after Gramsci, Williams' contributions go well beyond the critical tradition, supplying significant insights for cultural sociology today. The structure of feeling, drama in a dramatized society, advertising as magic – these are fundamental ideas. I have never read Williams without finding something worthwhile, something subtle, some idea of great importance.
I found the materials out of date and for a more Continental audience instead of an undergraduate class. However, I have recommended to other professors teaching graduate sociology of culture classes given the collections noteworthy essays from Williams.
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