Any book that opens old wounds and makes a few new ones is to be welcomed and one of the virtues of Mark Gibson’s Culture and Power: A History of Cultural Studies is that it does just that. For example it’s hugely entertaining to read about Sheila Rowbotham’s long-forgotten objections to the caddishness of, in her phrase, “all the men of New Left Review.” Another is its attempt to constitute a theoretical object and an analytical problematic around the issue of power in cultural studies. The originality of the book derives from the creation of an approach that is framed by references to political theorists such as Talcott Parsons and political philosophers such as Michael Oakeshott not usually found in mainstream cultural studies, although Steven Lukes is absent, and by the development of a Foucauldian approach to power which adopts Foucault’s...

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