At a time when postmodernism seems to have achieved a dominant position in cultural and critical theory the contributors to this volume provide a much needed corrective to the misleading images of modernism which have dominated recent debate. Richard Sheppard's account of European modernism focuses on the profound ideological crisis which beset Western culture between 1890 and 1930 and examines the ways in which artists and intellectuals responded to it; Bernard McGuirk analyses the ambivalent reactions of Apollinaire and Alberti to the machine age; David Wragg investigates the aesthetic and epistemological underpinnings of verbal and visual Vorticism in the work of Wyndham Lewis and Mike Johnson considers the potential for a (post)modernist political aesthetic in the Merz texts of Kurt Schwitters. And finally Steve Giles Afterword provides a much needed overview of the relationship between modernism and the avant-garde, postmodernism and modernity. This volume makes an important contribution to our understanding of modernism and through the use of contemporary critical theory sheds new light on current controversies surrounding postmodernism. It will be essential reading for all those interested in critical theory, cultural studies and comparative literature.