Frankfurt School Bookshelf
In 1923, a group of young radical German thinkers and intellectuals came together, determined to explain the workings of the modern world. Their lives, like their ideas, profoundly, sometimes tragically, reflected and shaped the shattering events of the twentieth century. Here we present our Frankfurt School reading.
Combines biography, philosophy, and storytelling to reveal how the Frankfurt thinkers gathered in hopes of understanding the politics of culture during the rise of fascism.
See also The Frankfurt School: A Timeline by Stuart Jeffries.
Benjamin and Brecht: The Story of a Friendship by Erdmut Wizisla
Translated by Christine Shuttleworth
A fascinating account of the friendship between two of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century.
- Brecht and Benjamin playing chess while exiled in Denmark, 1934
The Storyteller: Tales out of Loneliness by Walter Benjamin
Edited by Sam Dolbear, Esther Leslie, and Sebastian Truskolaski. Illustrated by Paul Klee
A beautiful collection of Walter Benjamin's short stories, gathered together for the first time.
Walter Benjamin’s Archive by Walter Benjamin
Edited by Ursula Marx, Gudrun Schwarz, Michael Schwarz, and Erdmut Wizisla. Translated by Esther Leslie
An absorbing selection of Walter Benjamin’s personal manuscripts, images, and documents.
- "Furniture set for a doll's house. Work of Siberian prisoners from the nineteenth century. Assembly of the tiny pieces of wood demands untold patiencde" - Russian dolls house furniture, collected by Walter Benjamin and featured in Walter Benjamin’s Archive.
Radio Benjamin by Walter Benjamin
Edited by Lecia Rosenthal. Translated by Jonathan Lutes, With Lisa Harries Schumann and Diana Reese
Walter Benjamin was fascinated by the impact of new technology on culture, an interest that extended beyond his renowned critical essays. From 1927 to ’33, he wrote and presented something in the region of eighty broadcasts using the new medium of radio. Radio Benjamin gathers the surviving transcripts, which appear here for the first time in English.
Understanding Brecht by Walter Benjamin
The relationship between philosopher-critic Walter Benjamin and playwright-poet Bertolt Brecht was both a lasting friendship and a powerful intellectual partnership. In Understanding Brecht we find collected together Benjamin’s most sensitive and probing writing on the dramatic and poetic work of his friend and tutor.
Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism by Walter Benjamin
It was through his study of the social and cultural history of the late nineteenth-century Paris, examined particularly in relation to the figure of the great Parisian lyric poet Charles Baudelaire, that Benjamin tested and enriched some of his core concepts and themes. Contained within these pages are, amongst other insights, his notion of the flaneur, his theory of memory and remembrance, his assessment of the utopian Fourier and his reading of the modernist movement.
One-Way Street: And Other Writings by Walter Benjamin
Introduction by Susan Sontag
A collection of aphorisms and townscapes, esoteric meditation and reminiscences of childhood, and reflections on language, psychology, aesthetics and politics.
Late Marxism: Adorno, Or, The Persistence of the Dialectic by Fredric Jameson
A lively and lucid introduction to the work of Theodor Adorno.
Dialectic of Enlightenment by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer
Translated by John Cumming
Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer are the leading figures of the Frankfurt School and this book is their magnum opus. Dialectic of Enlightenment is one of the most celebrated works of modern social philosophy and continues to impress in its wide-ranging ambition.
Quasi Una Fantasia: Essays on Modern Music by Theodor Adorno
Adorno’s own selection of his essays and journalism from more than three decades of music writing.
Towards a New Manifesto by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer
Translated by Rodney Livingstone
A fascinating dialogue on a new Communist Manifesto from two giants of twentieth century philosophy.
In Search of Wagner by Theodor Adorno
Translated by Rodney LivingstoneForeword by Slavoj Žižek
Written in exile from Germany, this potent study of Europe’s most controversial composer explodes the frontiers of musical and cultural analysis.
Aesthetics and Politics by Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, and Georg Lukács
Afterword by Fredric Jameson
An intense and lively debate on literature and art between thinkers who became some of the great figures of twentieth-century philosophy and literature.
Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life by Theodor Adorno
Translated by E. F. N. Jephcott
"A volume of Adorno is equivalent to a whole shelf of books on literature."—Susan Sontag
The Melancholy Science: An Introduction to the Thought of Theodor W. Adorno by Gillian Rose
The Melancholy Science is Gillian Rose’s investigation into Theodor Adorno’s work and legacy. Rose uncovers the unity discernable among the many fragments of Adorno’s oeuvre, and argues that his influence has been to turn Marxism into a search for style
A Study on Authority by Herbert Marcuse
Translated by Joris De Bres
The great theorist of radical liberation analyzes the relationship between authority and freedom.
Critique of Instrumental Reason by Max Horkheimer
Translated by Matthew O'Connell
The twentieth century triumph of the state-bureaucratic apparatus.
Logics of Disintegration: Poststructuralist Thought and the Claims of Critical Theory by Peter Dews
A major work of Marxist theory—rigorous, clear-minded and well-researched.
Walter Benjamin: Or, Towards a Revolutionary Criticism by Terry Eagleton
A classic study of the great philosopher and cultural theorist.
The Philosophy of Praxis: Marx, Lukács and the Frankfurt School by Andrew Feenberg
“Feenberg’s subtle and wide-ranging study reaches forward to Marcuse and the Frankfurt School and backwards into Marx’s 1844 manuscripts. The book offers a whole new framework in which to grasp the history of Marxist theory, at the same time restoring Marcuse’s centrality in it.” – Fredric Jameson
Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-Garde by Esther Leslie
With ruminations on drawing, colour and caricature, on the political meaning of fairy-tales, talking animals and human beings as machines, Hollywood Flatlandsbrings to light the links between animation, avant-garde art and modernist criticism.
Weimar in Exile: The Antifascist Emigration in Europe and America by Jean Michel Palmier
Translated by David Fernbach
A magisterial history of the artists and writers who left Weimar when the Nazis came to power.
The Salaried Masses: Duty and Distraction in Weimar Germany by Siegfried Kracauer
Translated by Quintin Hoare. Introduction by Inka Mülder-Bach
The classic study of white-collar lifestyle and culture in prewar Germany.
Redistribution or Recognition?: A Political-Philosophical Exchange by Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth
Translated by Joel Golb, James Ingram, and Christiane Wilke
A debate between two leading theorists on the relation of redistribution to recognition.
Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School, by Stuart Jeffries, is out this week.