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Stuart Jeffries

Stuart Jeffries worked for the Guardian for twenty years and has written for many media outlets including the Financial Times and Psychologies. He is based in London.

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  • The Crisis in Culture: The Frankfurt School, 1923–1969

    To mark the publication of Stuart Jeffries' Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School we'll be posting excerpts and pieces related to Frankfurt School thinkers throughout the week, as part of our Frankfurt School Bookshelf. All books, including Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School, are 40% off until Friday September 23rd.

    Here is an excerpt from
     The Melancholy Science, Gillian Rose's classic study of Adorno, that surveys and evaluates the activities of the Institute in the years between its founding and Adorno's death.



    The Frankfurt School, 1923–50

    All the tensions within the German academic community which accompanied the changes in political, cultural and intellectual life in Germany since 1890 were reproduced in the Institute for Social Research from its inception in Frankfurt in 1923. These changes were widely diagnosed as a ‘crisis in culture’. By this very definition the ‘crisis’ was deplored yet exacerbated. The Institute carried these tensions with it into exile and when it returned to Germany after the war and found itself the sole heir to a discredited tradition the inherited tensions became even more acute. These tensions are evident in the work of most of the School’s members, and most clearly, self-consciously and importantly in the work of Theodor W. Adorno.

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  • Detective Novels, On Tour

    To mark the publication of Stuart Jeffries' Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School we'll be posting excerpts and pieces related to Frankfurt School thinkers throughout the week, as part of our Frankfurt School Bookshelf. All books, including Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School, are 40% off until Friday September 23rd.

    Below is a short essay on train station novels written by Walter Benjamin for Frankfurter Zeitung in 1930, collected in The Storyteller, and translated by Sam Dolbear, Esther Leslie and Sebastian Truskolaski.



    Very few people on the train read books which they have taken from their shelf at home, preferring, instead, to buy something that presents itself at the last minute. They mistrust the appeal of novels that have been earmarked in advance, and rightly so. Furthermore, they may set store by making their purchase from the colourfully decorated trolley right on the tarmac of the platform. After all, everyone knows the cult to which it bids. At one time or another everyone has reached for the swaying tomes that it displays, less out of a pleasure in reading them than out of the dim sense of doing something to please the gods of the railway.

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  • The Effect of the Whip: The Frankfurt School and the Oppression of Women

    To mark the publication of Stuart Jeffries' Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School we'll be posting excerpts and pieces related to Frankfurt School thinkers throughout the week, as part of our Frankfurt School Bookshelf. All books, including Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School, are 40% off until Friday September 23rd.

    Below is a new piece by Jeffries on the Frankfurt School's absence of women and the points of contact between the thinkers associated with the Institute für Sozialforschung and theorists of feminism.    


    Herbert Marcuse and Angela Davis, 1968.

    When I was researching Grand Hotel Abyss: the Lives of the Frankfurt School, one question kept nagging me. Where were the women? Was the role of women at the Institute für Sozialforschung limited to keeping the male geniuses caffeinated, typing up the manuscripts, and arranging Atlantic passages so its thinkers, who were overwhelmingly, Marxist Jews, could flee Hitler?  

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