First published in 1976, Raymond Williams' highly acclaimed Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society is a collection of lively essays on words that are critical to understanding the modern world. In these essays, Williams, a renowned cultural critic, demonstrates how these key words take on new meanings and how these changes reflect the political bent and values of our past and current society. He chose words both essential and intangible--words like nature, underprivileged, industry, liberal, violence, to name a few--and, by tracing their etymology and evolution, grounds them in a wider political and cultural framework. The result is an illuminating account of the central vocabulary of ideological debate in English in the modern period.
This edition features a new original foreword by Colin MacCabe, Distinguished Professor of English and Literature, University of Pittsburgh, that reflects on the significance of Williams' life and work. Keywords remains as relevant today as it was over thirty years ago, offering a provocative study of our language and an insightful look at the society in which we live.