The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories, and Political Significance

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MIT Press, 1995 - Philosophy - 787 pages
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This is the definitive study of the history and accomplishments of the Frankfurt School. It offers elegantly written portraits of the major figures in the school's history as well as overviews of the various positions and directions they developed from the founding years just after World War I until the death of Theodor Adorno in 1969.

The book is based on documentary and biographical materials that have only recently become available. As the narrative follows the Institute for Social Research from Frankfurt am Main to Geneva, New York, and Los Angeles, and then back to Frankfurt, Wiggershaus continually ties the evolution of the school to the changing intellectual and political contexts in which it operated. He also interweaves these accounts with incisive summaries of substantive works by Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, Fromm, Kirchheimer, Lowenthal, Marcuse, Neumann, Pollock, and Habermas.

The book is self-contained and can serve as a general introduction to critical theory, but it also has a wealth of new material to offer those who are familiar with this tradition but would like to learn more about its history and context.

Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought
 

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Contents

Dawn
9
The professorial Marxist Carl Griinberg establishes an Institute
24
The philosopher Max Horkheimer becomes director of the Institute
36
Politics academic politics academic work
105
Flight
127
An Independent Institute
149
Renewal of collaboration between Horkheimer and Adorno
156
Other empirical research projects at the Institute during the 1930s
165
Studies in Prejudice
408
Critical Ornament of a Restoration Society
431
Horkheimer established overnight
442
Adornos vision of critical empirical social research crisis at
450
Stabilization at the Institute its first publications after the return
466
research in Mannesmann factories
479
Eros and Civilization 49 6
496
Critical Theory in Contention
508

The dialectics project
177
Walter Benjamin the PassagenWerk the Institute and Adorno
191
Herbert Marcuse and Leo Lowenthal on art
218
Adorno Lazarsfeld and the Princeton Radio Research Project
236
Balancing acts and indecision
246
Break with Erich Fromm
265
Projects
273
Disputes on the theory of National Socialism
280
A branch of private scholars in Los Angeles and a rump of
291
Work on the dialectics project
302
Philosophical Fragments
326
Eclipse of Reason
344
The antiSemitism project
350
Gradual Return
381
Notes to Literature
519
Towards a philosophy unafraid of lacking foundations
530
Jiirgen Habermas a social theorist at the Institute at last valued
537
The positivist dispute
566
The conservatism dispute
582
Critique of Heidegger
592
The Critical Theorists and the student movement
609
Habermas on course towards a communication theory of society
636
Afterword
656
Bibliography
715
Secondary sources
753
Works on the context and works forming part of the context
759
Index
772
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About the author (1995)

MICHAEL ROBERTSON is assistant professor of English at The College of New Jersey.

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