The Study of Man: “The Long Revolution” and the British Left
AMERICANS WHO do not follow the debates of the British left may find it difficult to understand why The Long Revolution* caused such a stir in England. At first it was almost universally praised. But Richard Wollheim argued against it in his Fabian tract, Socialism and Culture,t and Dwight Macdonald denounced it in the pages of Encounter, and now the argument has spread to other journals with the result that The Long Revolution has become one of the most discussed books of the year. It has got this attention, moreover, in spite of being written in a ponderous, murky style-quite a step down from Mr. Williams’s relatively lucid writing in Culture and Society (1958). What is the reason for all the excitement? My impression, after reading a few of the favorable reviews, is that in some perverse way The Long Revolution has touched the hearts of discouraged British socialists.
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