Denis Donoghue, 2 February 1984
Show More Towards 2000 by Raymond Williams.
Chatto, 273 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 9780701126858Show More
Writing in Society by Raymond Williams.
Verso, 268 pp., £18.50, December 1983, 0 86091 072 5Show More
Radical Earnestness: English Social Theory 1880-1980 by Fred Inglis.
Martin Robertson, 253 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 85520 328 5Show More
“... I’ll talk mostly about Towards 2000, so I should give a brief account of Writing in Society and Radical Earnestness to begin with. Radical Earnestness is a brisk survey of a ‘tradition of thought’, a ‘mode of feeling’, which Fred Inglis identifies as English and, in a vague sense, socialist. The tradition is characterised by ‘a habit of recourse to concrete examples in argument, a calm refusal of formal metaphysics, an unexamined criticism of “over-abstraction” (which means other people’s abstractions), and a general preference for non-systematised or pluralist theories of political life ...”