Review by Choice Review
In this heady book, Gilmartin (California Institute of Technology) uses the methods of literary scholarship to analyze radical culture. The author examines the relationship between the political cultures of print and speech, England's weekly publications of the early 19th century--particularly the Republican and the Black Dwarf--being the most significant sources for radical argument and opinion. Gilmartin defines radicalism as a protest against the dominance of two political parties. Rather than dwelling on the revolutionary aspect of the radical movement, the author discusses the complexities of the reformist character. Exacting in detail throughout, the book is most solid in its discussion of William Cobbett and "the system," a mode of social organization often replete with injustices and corruption ("evil genius"). Gilmartin also considers other writers--T.J. Wooler, Richard Carlile, William Hone--in whose writings radicalism is "a generalized libertarian rhetoric." A bibliography is incorporated into 34 pages of notes. An advanced study for researchers and faculty. S. W. Whyte; Montgomery County Community College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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