Adorno by Lorenz Jager
A Political Biography

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Theodor W. Adorno—philosopher, cultural critic, sociologist, and music theorist—was one of the most important German intellectuals of the twentieth century. This concise, readable life is the first attempt to look at his philosophical and literary work in its essential political context.
Central to Adorno’s intellectual development were his musical training, his father’s Jewish roots, and the rise of National Socialism in Germany, which forced him to emigrate to the United States. While in exile, he and Max Horkheimer wrote Dialectic of Enlightenment, a bold attempt to illuminate the dark side of modernity, and on his own Adorno wrote a series of connected essays on the “culture industry”—his indictment of mass culture.
A co-founder of the famous Frankfurt School, Adorno returned to head it after the war, assuming a key role in the intellectual life of postwar West Germany until his untimely death in 1969. Jäger’s biography sheds new light on many aspects of Adorno’s life and writings and on his relationships with such figures as Paul Celan, Bertolt Brecht, and Walter Benjamin.


About Lorenz Jager

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Lorenz Jäger is an editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Germany. He has published numerous books on twentieth-century cultural history.
Published September 10, 2004 by Yale University Press. 248 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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A co-founder of the so-called Frankfurt School of philosophy, Theodor Wiesengrund-Adorno (1903-1969) produced critiques of art and culture that have pointed the way for post-Holocaust, post-Marxist th

Sep 13 2004 | Read Full Review of Adorno: A Political Biography

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After their exile in the U.S., Adorno and the Institute returned to Frankfurt in the 1950s, and Jager does a terrific job describing the varying strands and strains of its power there, right up to the student revolts of the late '60s (when Adorno's lectures were disrupted).

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