The University of Wisconsin Press

Literature and Criticism


Modern Culture and Critical Theory
Art, Politics, and the Legacy of the Frankfurt School
Russell A. Berman

“A fascinating and forceful work of cultural analysis that will provide debate and discussion, not only among specialists in German studies, but also among the broader range of intellectuals and scholars interested in issues of modernism, postmodernism, and the condition of the arts today.”
—Paul Breines, Boston College

Are the arguments of the Frankfurt School still relevant? Modern Culture and Critical Theory investigates this question in the context of important issues in contemporary cultural politics: neoconservatism and new social movements, discontents with modernity and debates on postmodernism, the political hegemony of Ronald Reagan, and the cultural hegemony of structuralism and poststructuralism. Russell Berman thoughtfully explores the theories of Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, Lyotard, and Foucault and their relevance to both historical and contemporary issues in literature, politics, and the arts.

“There are moments of brilliant insight—many of them—when Berman deals with concrete cases from the recent past. . . . On the whole, the analyses of such figures as Thomas Mann, Ernst Jünger, and Hugo von Hoffmansthal are so vigorous and compelling that this work is strongly recommended for all students of the idea of modernity and of German intellectual history.”

“[Russell Berman’s] latest book is a very good one. It is a solidly assembled synthesis and analysis that applies the theoretical perspective of the Frankfurt School to a number of contemporary cultural-political issues and to postmodernism.”
—David Gugin, Perspectives on Political Science

Russell Berman
is professor of German and comparative literature at Stanford University. He is the author of The Rise of the Modern German Novel: Crisis and Charisma.

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August 1989

LC: 88-040426 HM
286 pp.   6 x 9
Cloth ISBN 978-0-299-12080-1
Paper ISBN 978-0-299-12084-9

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