Henri Lefebvre and Raymond Williams died within a few short years of one another.2

Having lived through most of what Eric Hobsbawm was later to call “the short twentieth century,”3 they spent the duration of their lives trying to come to terms with the immense social, political, and cultural shifts ushered in through the arrival of the “modern world.” At a glance, despite the geographic and contextual gulf between them-Lefebvre escaping his Jesuit upbringing in the south of France to study philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris; Williams, the working-class son of a railway signalman, leaving the Welsh border town he grew up in for Cambridge as a “scholarship boy”4-their biographical similarities prove striking.