- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; New edition (November 7, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199393214
- ISBN-13: 978-0199393213
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.8 x 5.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society New Edition
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About the Author
Raymond Williams (1921 - 1988) was a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge University.
Colin MacCabe is Distinguished Professor of English and Literature, University of Pittsburgh, and author of numerous books on literature and theory of language.
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4 customer reviews
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Personally I am a science major and lawyer, who is now taking the time in his 40s to start reading a lot more books in the humanities. Having Williams' book is an expansion of words that are often used without having been explained, and he does a very excellent job of giving precision to these terms that are often ubiquitous within the humanities but not within the common language. Or perhaps worse, they are in common language, but have a different meaning as within particular domains of the humanities. Although it was written in 1976, and is based deeply on the Oxford English Dictionary (which is itself more of a historical then-current document for purposes of etymology, as Williams himself explains) this is still a deeply valuable book in 2019 because you have to get caught up on what these words meant throughout time, which influences how they are used in the present day.
If words are tools that we used to make sense of and communicate about the world, then this book is a meta-tool for inspecting those tools. And perhaps sharpening them in some cases; but more often just realizing upon inspection that some words are just irredeemably blunt after centuries of conflicting use and abuse.