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Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School

Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School

By Stuart Jeffries

“An engaging and accessible history of the lives and main ideas of the leading thinkers of the Frankfurt School.”—New York Review of Books

“This seemingly daunting book turned out to be an exhilarating page-turner … Grand Hotel Abyss is an outstanding critical introduction to some of the most fertile, and still relevant, thinkers of the 20th century.”—Michael Dirda, Washington Post

“Jeffries moves swiftly across the decades, retracing the jagged paths from the official founding of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt in June 1924, through its years in exile in New York in the ’30s and Los Angeles in the ’40s and its hasty return to Frankfurt in the early postwar years, up to the work of Horkheimer and Adorno’s prized protégé Jürgen Habermas and the Institute’s legacy today.”−Noah Isenberg, Bookforum

Grand Hotel Abyss combines biography, philosophy, and storytelling to reveal how a group of German thinkers, the Frankfurt School, redefined the twentieth century and our own times. Among the most prominent members of what became the Frankfurt School were the philosophers Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse. By taking popular culture seriously as an object of study—whether it was film, music, ideas, or consumerism—the Frankfurt School elaborated upon the nature and crisis of our mass-produced, mechanised society. Grand Hotel Abyss shows how much these ideas still tell us about our age of social media and runaway consumption.

336 pages
Verso, 2017
5.1 x 1.3 x 7.6 inches
ISBN 9781784785697
Biography, Philosophy 

$16.95 $16.95