The Heritage of Our Times

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Wiley, Aug 24, 2009 - Social Science - 384 pages
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Heritage of Our Times is a brilliant examination of modern culture and its legacy by one of the most important and deeply influential thinkers of the 20th century. Bloch argues that the key elements of a genuine cultural tradition are not just to be found in the conveniently closed and neatly labeled ages of the past, but also in the open and experimental cultural process of our time.

One of the most compelling aspects of this work is a contemporary analysis of the rise of Nazism. It probes its bogus roots in German history and mythology at the very moment when the ideologies of Blood and Soil and the Blond Beast were actually taking hold of the German people.

The breadth and depth of Bloch's vision, together with the rich diversity of his interest, ensure this work a place as one of the key books of the 20th century.

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About the author (2009)

Ernst Bloch ranks as a major German Marxist philosopher. Beginning his career as author and teacher during World War I, he moved in the orbit of Marxist thought during the 1920s. In 1933 he left Germany and eventually found his way to the United States, where he created his major work The Principle of Hope. After World War II, he settled in East Germany, where from 1948 to 1957 he was professor at the University of Leipzig. His work eventually aroused the hostility of the authorities, and in 1961 he was granted political asylum in West Germany. Bloch departed from orthodox Marxism by attending to the problem of intellectual culture and refraining from treating it merely as superstructure determined by the materialist elements of political economy. Emphasizing the role of hope-as an inner drive, or hunger, in human beings-for a possible ideal future order, Bloch's thought may be described as utopian, involving the realization of a religious community akin to the kingdom of God, where people are no longer exploited but are free. Bloch's style echoes recent expressionism and is also rich in mystical overtones of biblical origin. Bloch died in 1977.

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