Adorno

Adorno : An Intellectual Biography

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'Even the biographical individual is a social category', wrote Adorno. 'It can only be defined in a living context together with others. ' In this major new biography, Stefan Muller-Doohm turns this maxim back on Adorno himself and provides a rich and comprehensive account of the life and work of one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. This authoritative biography ranges across the whole of Adorno's life and career, from his childhood and student years to his years in emigration in the United States and his return to postwar Germany. At the same time, Muller-Doohm examines the full range of Adorno's writings on philosophy, sociology, literary theory, music theory and cultural criticism. Drawing on an array of sources from Adorno's personal correspondence with Horkheimer, Benjamin, Berg, Marcuse, Kracauer and Mann to interviews, notes and both published and unpublished writings, Muller-Doohm situates Adorno's contributions in the context of his times and provides a rich and balanced appraisal of his significance in the 20th Century as a whole. Muller-Doohm's clear prose succeeds in making accessible some of the most complex areas of Adorno's thought. This outstanding biography will be the standard work on Adorno for years to come.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 648 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 60mm | 1,220.17g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745631088
  • 9780745631080

Review quote

"Although Adorno died in 1969, we have had to wait more than thirty years for a biography ... Stefan Muller-Doohm's is the most detailed and probably the best. (It has been exceptionally well translated, too.)" Times Literary Supplement"Stands as a very informative account of Adorno's life, which has much to offer casual readers of Adorno and those with a thorough interest in his work [and] ties a narrative description of Adorno's life to a sensitive understanding of his thought, and of the consistency of his reflection across the different disciplinary boundaries that it traversed ... This book does all the things a biography should." Times Higher Education Supplement"Exhaustively researched and presented with exemplary balance, Muller-Doohm's re-creation of Adorno's 'damaged life' is fully worthy of its demanding subject. No future student of one of the twentieth century's most influential thinkers will be able to ignore this remarkable achievement in intellectual biography." Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeleyshow more

Back cover copy

'Even the biographical individual is a social category', wrote Adorno. 'It can only be defined in a living context together with others.' In this major new biography, Stefan Muller-Doohm turns this maxim back on Adorno himself and provides a rich and comprehensive account of the life and work of one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. This authoritative biography ranges across the whole of Adorno's life and career, from his childhood and student years to his years in emigration in the United States and his return to postwar Germany. At the same time, Muller-Doohm examines the full range of Adorno's writings on philosophy, sociology, literary theory, music theory and cultural criticism. Drawing on an array of sources from Adorno's personal correspondence with Horkheimer, Benjamin, Berg, Marcuse, Kracauer and Mann to interviews, notes and both published and unpublished writings, Muller-Doohm situates Adorno's contributions in the context of his times and provides a rich and balanced appraisal of his significance in the 20th Century as a whole. Muller-Doohm's clear prose succeeds in making accessible some of the most complex areas of Adorno's thought. This outstanding biography will be the standard work on Adorno for years to come.show more

About Stefan Müller-Doohm

Stefan Muller-Doohm isProfessor of Sociology at Oldenburg University, Germany.show more

Table of contents

List of Figures.List of Plates.Preface.Acknowledgements.Illustration Acknowledgements.Part I. Origins: Family, Childhood and Youth: School and University in Frankfurt am Main.Family Inheritance: A Picture of Contracts.1. Adorno's Corsican Grandfather: Jean Francois, alias Giovanni Francesco.2. Wiesengrund: The Jewish Heritage of his Father's Romantic Name.3. Between Oberrad and Amorbach.4. Education Sentimentale.Part II. A Change of Scene: Between Frankfurt, Vienna and Berlin: A Profusion of Intellectual Interests.Commuting Between Philosophy and Music.5. Against the Stream: The City of Frankfurt and its University.6. A Man with Philosophical Qualities in the World of Viennese Music: The Danube Metropolis.7. In Search of Career.8. Music Criticism and Compositional Practice.9. Towards a Theory of Aesthetics.10. A Second Anomaly in Frankfurt: The Institute of Social Research.Part III. Emigration Years: An Itellectual in Foreign Land.A Twofold Exile: Intellectual Homelessness as Personal Fate.11. The 'Coordination" of the National Socialist Nation and Adorno's Reluctant Emigration.12. Between Academic and Authentic Concerns: From Philosophy Lecturer to Advanced Students in Oxford.13. Writing Letters as an aid to Philosophical.14. Learning by Doing: Adorno's Path to Social Research.15. Happiness in Misfortune: Adorno's Years in California.Part IV: Thinking the Unconditional and Enduring the Conditional.The Explosive Power of Saying No.16. Change of Scene: Surveying the Ruins.17. Gaining Recognition for Critical Theory: Adorno's Activities in the Late 1950s and Early 1960s.18. Eating Bread: A Theory Devoured by Thought.19. With his Back to the Wall.Epilogue: Thinking Against Oneself.Notes.References and Bibliography.Index.show more

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