Trevor Williams takes as his starting point Joyce's assertion that Dublin was a ""paralyzed city"". He identifies those power structures within its civil society and private relationships - so clearly drawn by Joyce in ""Dubliners"", ""A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"", and ""Ulysses"" - that lie at the heart of that paralysis. More importantly, however, Williams shows how in Joyce the paralysis is always provisional, and explores the ways in which Joyce's characters do indeed demonstrate means of resistance to the British state, to class distinctions, to clerical hegemony and to power imbalances in familial and sexual relationships. In the process, Williams reviews the early criticism levelled against Joyce by the left, in particular by the First Congress of Soviet Writers in 1934. He also engages contemporary Joyce critics, including Frederic Jameson, Franco Moretti and Terry Eagleton, many of whom have attempted to redress the leftist attacks on Joyce and to demonstrate his relevance to a postcolonial critical approach. Williams's reading of Joyce draws from the ""humanist"" tradition of Marxism and from contemporary feminist theory in what is ultimately a blend of theory and close textual reading.