Marxist Modernism

Marxist Modernism:Introductory Lectures on Frankfurt School Critical Theory

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Lectures on art, Marxism, and critical theory by the legendary philosopher, collected for the first time, with an afterword by Martin Jay

Marxist Modernism presents for the first time Gillian Rose’s 1979 lectures on the Frankfurt School, art, and politics. Delivered soon after the publication of her now classic study of Adorno, The Melancholy Science, the lecture series expands upon this work to explore the lives and philosophies of a wider range of Frankfurt School members and affiliates: from Adorno, to Lukács, Brecht, Bloch, Benjamin, and Horkheimer. In particular, Rose discusses their debates concerning various twentieth-century modernist art movements, and outlines the ways in which each theorist developed Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism into a Marxist theory of culture.

Marxist Modernism serves as a comprehensive yet concise and conversational introduction to the Frankfurt School, but it also provides a new resource for one of the twentieth century’s most important philosophers: Gillian Rose. The volume will provide an accessible encounter with Rose’s thought for those not yet acquainted with her formidable work, while provoking a renewed engagement with the Marxist basis of her oeuvre for those who are.

An Afterword by the renowned intellectual historian Martin Jay reviews the lectures and contextualises them within the wider reception of the Frankfurt School in the Anglophone world.


  • A fierce vigilance of thought.

  • Writing wholly from within the tradition of modern European philosophy and social thought, Rose produced one of the most distinctive and original bodies of work of her generation.