Political Philosophy Now: William Morris - The Art of Socialism
|ISBN: 9780708315828 (0708315828)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Rhagfyr 2000 |
Cyhoeddwr: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales Press, CaerdyddFformat: Clawr Meddal, 216x138 mm, 268 tudalen
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|Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
Dadansoddiad cynhwysfawr o'r dadleuon sy'n amgylchynu syniadaeth William Morris am gymdeithas sosialaidd rinweddol fel y'i portreadir yn ei nofel News From Nowhere, a pherthnasedd ei delfrydiaeth i faes gwleidyddiaeth ymarferol cyfoes.
A comprehensive analysis of the debates surrounding William Morris's utopian views of a virtuous socialist society as portrayed in his novel News From Nowhere, and the relevance of its idealism in the field of contemporary practical politics.
The central theme of Ruth Kinna's study is that William Morris's classic text News from Nowhere, so long assailed by critics as a describing a totally impractical Utopian society, remains relevant to contemporary society and practical politics. She argues convincingly that Morris's love of art profoundly influenced his political ideas and that this romantic impulse lay behind his Socialist thought. While Morris's ideas about the revolution, the socialist economy and the role of women are by now clearly out-of-date, his conceptions concerning Utopian thought remain applicable to politics and society in the twenty-first century.
This latest addition to the enterprising Political Philosophy Now series published by the University of Wales Press is founded on a masterly use of all eighteen volumes of The Collected Works of William Morris, published in 1992 and on an impressive range of secondary sources dealing both with William Morris specifically and with the political, social and intellectual background to his world. Throughout, the text abounds with pungent quotations from Morris's many writings and from his letters. This scholarly volume is equipped with helpful footnotes, a full bibliography of sources and an outline (somewhat selective) index. The book may not always be an easy read (the style at times is turgid), but it will re-pay careful study as a meticulously researched, detailed, up-to-date analysis of Morris's writing, thought and ideas.
J. Graham Jones
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
For many years, William Morriss utopian novel, News From Nowhere, has been
considered a socialist classic. In it, he describes a future society in which poverty and
hardship have been overcome and where individuals are free to express their creativity.
For many readers it has been an inspirational text but, at the same time, scholars have
openly admitted that the society it describes is impractical. Indeed, in recent years,
writers and politicans sympathetic to Morris's socialism have tended to defend the
relevance of his political thought by passing over the details of his vision and
translating his ideas to a set of familiar values or ideas: freedom, equality, fraternity,
In this stimulating study, Ruth Kinna reviews the debates that have surrounded Morris's
work and suggests that the romanticism and utopianism of News From Nowhere have
been treated wrongly as a weakness of his thought. By analysing the impact that Morris's
understanding of art had on his political thought, she argues that his socialism was
driven by a deeply romantic impulse and that this impulse underpinned his central
contribution to socialist thought. In today's political climate, the assumptions that
Morris made about the revolution and his ideas about the socialist economy and the role of
women appear impractical and outdated. Nevertheless, this study suggests that there is a
role for utopian thought in practical politics and that Morris's image of the good society
remains relevant today.
•Analyzes Morris's ideas of socialist organisation, the role of the family and the
position of women in future socialist society in great depth.
•Suggests that the often-raised objections to Morris's impracticality misunderstand the
central importance of his Utopian socialist project.
•Represents an exhaustive piece of research which shows a deep understanding of
Morriss writing and political outlook.
•As a comprehensive and up to date study of Morriss political thought it is
unlikely to be surpassed for some time. (Reader's Report)
Ruth Ellen Kinna is lecturer in the Department of European Studies, Loughborough
University. Her research interests include socialism and anarchism, with a particular
focus on the political thought of William Morris and Peter Kropotkin.
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