Although assessing and rebalancing this situation would undoubtedly be the work of more than one publication, Revisiting the Frankfurt School contributes to such a project. The book collates nine essays from nine different scholars, most of which are dedicated to a particular associate of the Frankfurt School. The general approach of these essays involves asserting the importance of these associates for contemporary leftist praxis, examining the theoretical and historical importance of relatively minor figures to the Frankfurt school and assessing their importance for the development of modern media and cultural studies.
This method is in marked contrast to the trend in scholarship which asserts the importance of central figures particularly Adorno and which rereads the Frankfurt school in light of later developments in continental theory. This collection therefore is an interesting counterpart to another collection of essays, Rethinking the Frankfurt School, edited by Jeffrey T. Nealton and Caren Irr, which is structured on this contrary model.
In valuing the radical politics of the Frankfurt School many of the essays revise the caricature of the Frankfurt school as scholastic, i. A few of the essays convincingly demonstrate the importance of the Frankfurt School for contemporary leftist politics, particularly in relation to new internet media such as social networking. If Fromm is today a less studied figure, it is because he was estranged from Horkheimer and Adorno due to both personal and methodological differences. He thereby anticipated a key divide that separated the Frankfurt Institute from American communications studies during the post-war decades.
The dialogue between German and American scholarship is explored at length by Hanno Hardt in his discussion of the development of the thought of Leo Lowenthal, a Frankfurt Institute member whose critical-historical approach marginalised him in American departments. This essay collection as a whole does therefore offer an important and often understated set of perspectives on the Frankfurt school. However, I have two reservations. First, two of the essays have limited use value. An examination of this would have offered a fascinating perspective on the Frankfurt Institute as a whole, whose philosophical genealogy is dominated by the trio of Kant, Hegel and Marx.
My second reservation is that this book is, in some respects, poorly edited. David Kettler. The Philosophy Of Praxis. Andrew Feenberg. Critical theory and feeling. Simon Mussell. The Frankfurt School and its Critics.
The late Tom Bottomore. Critical Theory and Political Engagement. Negativity and Democracy. Vasilis Grollios.
Critical Theory and the Challenge of Praxis. Stefano Giacchetti Ludovisi. Beverley Best. Adorno and Democracy. Shannon L. The Algebra of Revolution. John Rees. Workers of the World, Enjoy! Kenneth H. The Architecture of Phantasmagoria.
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Libero Andreotti. Marxist Aesthetics. Pauline Johnson. Critical Theories and the Budapest School. John Rundell.
Castoriadis and Critical Theory. Christos Memos. Christer Pursiainen. Modernism and Totalitarianism. Literature of Revolution. Norman Geras. Against Orthodoxy.
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Mis readings of Marx in Continental Philosophy. The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Theory. Michael J. The Intellectual as Stranger. Dick Pels. Human Dignity.
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Werner Bonefeld. The 10 Phases of Dating. David Berry. Libertarian Socialism. Alex Prichard. Cultural Politics in the Age of Austerity. British Marxism and Cultural Studies. Philip Bounds. Journalism, Ethics and Society. Public Policy and Media Organizations. Ethics and Media Culture: Practices and Representations.
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This rewarding collection of ten new chapters concentrates on lesser-known dimensions and, say, thinkers and scholars less often recognised as members of the Frankfurt School such as Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, Erich Fromm, plus some followers like Hans Magnus Enzenberger and Dallas Smythe. While the usual, familiar, core members such as Max Horkheimer, Theodor W.
Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Lowenthal, and Friedrich Pollock have been extensively studied elsewhere, other intellectuals remain on the margins of the Frankfurt School and sometimes are not even considered as being a part of that influential group p. One interesting example is German novelist and poet Hans Magnus Enzenberger, who is not very often linked with the Frankfurt School, although he wrote some theoretical texts on culture industries and the media, often based on a critique of Adorno's writings p.
It is unusual as well to see Dallas Smythe's name related to the Frankfurt School, but his inclusion makes sense at all levels since he conceived the Hollywood film industry as an example of 'Consciousness Industry' made possible under a form of monopoly capitalism p.
During the s, Dallas Smythe was among the very few scholars in media studies to be highly critical about Hollywood's oligarchy, with Thomas Guback p. Perhaps the most useful essay gathered here is the ninth chapter by Hanno Hardt which explains how the theoretical works of Leo Lowenthal can be relevant for the study of Cultural Studies, Celebrity Cultures, and other Post-Marxist approaches p. In an elegant style and always using clear formula, Hanno Hardt insists on the fact that scholars must not limit their analysis to a mere description or narrative, reminding us of the importance of a critical analysis of journalism and phenomena such as Celebrity Cultures: '[i]mplicit in Lowenthal's approach is a recognition that journalism must be investigated within a more encompassing theory of culture and society' p.
In this posthumous text, Hanno Hardt adds that 'the recent impact of technological changes and the declines of a print culture only intensifies the need for a cultural-historical explanation', which can be brought by the Frankfurt School's theoretical approach p.
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