Shaw's Controversial Socialism

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Shaw's Controversial Socialism deals with the political writings of Bernard Shaw, with special emphasis given to the years between 1884 and 1904. It was in these decades that Shaw exhibited his greatest commitment to politics, particularly as he worked out his own unique approach to socialism. Rather than attempt to re-create Shaw's political philosophy, James Alexander is the first to discuss Shaw's work by its placement on a continuum. Analyzing Shaw's writings in the political and historical contexts from which they sprang, Alexander shows that Shaw's was a reactive rather than proactive stance. Most notably, he reveals how Shaw defended socialism from the extremes of Marxism on one side and Liberalism on the other. Alexander's background as a historian of political thought makes him ideally suited to undertake such a study. It will appeal to both literary critics, who will be better able to understand the milieu in which Shaw's dramas arose, and political scientists and historians, who will be more fully exposed to a key figure in the political battles of the Victorian and Edwardian worlds.

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University Press of Florida
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