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Dai Smith

Raymond Williams: A Warrior's Tale

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  • £20


This edition celebrates the centenary of Williams’s birth.


RAYMOND WILLIAMS (1921-1998) was the most influential socialist writer and thinker in post-war Britain. Now, for the first time, making full use of Williams’s private and unpublished papers and by placing him in a wide social and cultural landscape, Dai Smith, in this highly original and much praised biography, uncovers how Williams’s life to 1961 is an explanation of his immense intellectual achievement.

“It is Smith’s ambition to set out the lonely, almost monastic path Raymond took through childhood, army and adult education towards his deserved eminence. But the biographer’s greatest achievement is to find his own discerning route through what often seems to be a jungle of contradiction... This is a worthwhile book and a very good one.”
– David Hare, The Guardian

“It is a remarkable piece of work and will henceforth be essential to the understanding of the making of Raymond Williams.”
– Eric Hobsbawm

“Becomes at once the authoritative account... Smith has done all that we can ask the historian as biographer to do.”
– Stefan Collini, London Review of Books

“Carrying an impressive deal of intensive research lightly... the portraiture throughout is graphic, richly detailed and subtly shaded... in these packed, lucidly written pages...”
– Terry Eagleton, New Welsh Review


Dai Smith was born in the Rhondda in 1945. His writing has encompassed history, biography, essays and criticism. He was the Series Editor of the Library of Wales series and Chair of the Arts Council Wales and was made a CBE for services to arts and culture in Wales in 2016. He currently edits the Modern Wales Series and is Chair of the Dylan Thomas Prize.