The Two Cultures Controversy: Science, Literature and Cultural Politics in Postwar Britain

The Two Cultures Controversy: Science, Literature and Cultural Politics in Postwar Britain

by Guy Ortolano
     
 

ISBN-10: 1107402700

ISBN-13: 9781107402706

Pub. Date: 05/05/2011

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Ever since the scientist-turned-novelist C. P. Snow clashed with literary critic F. R. Leavis in the early 1960s, it has been a commonplace to lament that intellectual life is divided between 'two cultures', the arts and sciences. Yet why did a topic that had long been discussed inspire such ferocious controversy at this particular moment? This book answers that…  See more details below

Overview

Ever since the scientist-turned-novelist C. P. Snow clashed with literary critic F. R. Leavis in the early 1960s, it has been a commonplace to lament that intellectual life is divided between 'two cultures', the arts and sciences. Yet why did a topic that had long been discussed inspire such ferocious controversy at this particular moment? This book answers that question by recasting this dispute as an ideological conflict between competing visions of Britain's past, present, and future. It then connects the controversy to simultaneous arguments about the mission of the university, the methodology of social history, the reasons for 'national decline', and the fate of the former empire. By excavating the political stakes of the 'two cultures' controversy, this book explains the workings of cultural politics during the 1960s more generally, while also revising the meaning of a term that continues to be evoked to this day.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107402706
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
05/05/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
308
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. C. P. Snow and the technocratic liberalism; 2. F. R. Leavis and the radical liberalism; 3. A tale of two colleges; 4. The making of English social history; 5. The rise of national 'decline'; 6. Post-colonial developments; 7. The eclipse of the meritocratic moment; Conclusion.

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