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Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History, the New Left, and the Origins of Cultural Studies (Post-Contemporary Interventions)

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Dworkin’s new study manages to both creatively historicize a familiar—yet often misunderstood—recent academic and political formation as well as raise pressing methodological questions that cross the major disciplines of the human sciences.

Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies - Wikipedia Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies - Wikipedia

Right-wing culture warriors will go on employing the expression “cultural Marxism” (or “Cultural Marxism”) in a pejorative way, attaching it to dubious, sometimes paranoid, theories of cultural history. It is obvious he feels the critical theory that came out of the Frankfurt school and it's subsequent application to our British culture (the Utopian spell it cast) was something valuable.Dworkin assembles a convincing historical narrative of how a seemingly provisional reaction to the crisis of British welfare capitalism in the post-war period developed into a coherent and compelling subtradition of European Marxist social theory. The book deserves to become a standard work of reference to the major intellectual developments relevant to cultural studies during this period.

Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History, the New Left Cultural Marxism in Postwar Britain: History, the New Left

For these culture warriors, cultural Marxism (or, often, “Cultural Marxism”) is associated with a program of moral degeneracy and subversion of traditional Western values - particularly Christian “family values” and moral teachings. Tracing the development of British cultural Marxism from beginnings in postwar Britain to the emergence of British cultural studies at Birmingham, this book shows this history to reflect a coherent intellectual tradition, one that represents an implicit and explicit theoretical effort to resolve the crisis of the postwar British Left.In that historical and social context, the modern academic discipline of cultural studies emerged within the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham (hence the common references to a “Birmingham School” of cultural critique). But most of all, Dworkin has written an important study insofar as it charts the evolution of a major strand of thought in postwar Britain and does so in part by making excellent use of unpublished papers and various interviews that the author undertook for the study. Outside of historical scholarship, and discussions of the history and current state of Western Marxism, we need to be careful.

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