This is a Keywords for our time - a fascinating, intricately erudite work of conceptual genealogy that reveals the interwoven logics of past and present. With grace and precision, the authors have produced an invaluable guidebook to the perilous landscapes of culture and society. Raymond Williams would have been proud. (Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University)
Keywords for Today takes us deep into the history of the language in order to better understand our contemporary world. From nature to cultural appropriation and from market to terror, the most important words in political and cultural debate have complicated and complex histories. This book sketches these histories in ways that illuminate the political bent and values of our current society. Written by The Keywords Project, an independent group of scholars who have spent more than a decade on this work, Keywords for Today updates and extends Raymond Williams's classic work, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. It updates some 40 of Williams's original entries and adds 86 new entries, ranging from access to youth. The book is both a history of English, documenting important semantic change in the language, and a handbook of current political and ideological debate. Whether it is demonstrating the only recently-acquired religious meaning of fundamentalism or the complicated linguistic history of queer, Keywords for Today will intrigue and enlighten.