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Technology, War and Fascism: Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse Volume 1

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Overview

Herbert Marcuse is one of the most influential thinkers of our time. Born in Berlin, Marcuse studied philosophy with Husserl and Heidegger at the Universities of Freiburg and Berlin. Marcuse's critical social theory ingeniously fuses phenomenology, Freudian thought and Marxist theory; and provides a solid ground for his reputation as the most crucial figure inspiring the social activism and New Left politics of the 1960s and 1970s. The largely unpublished work collected in this volume makes clear the continuing relevance of Marcuse's thought to contemporary issues. The texts published here, dealing with concerns during the period 1942-1951, exhibit penetrating critiques of technology and analyses of the ways that modern technology produces novel forms of society and culture with new modes of social control. The material collected in Technology, War and Facism provides exemplary attempts to link theory with practice, to develop ideas that can be used to grasp and transform existing social reality.
Technology, War and Fascism is the first of six volumes of Herbert Marcuse's Collected Papers to be edited by Douglas Kellner. Each volume is a collection of previously un-published or uncollected essays, unfinished manuscripts and letters by one of the greatest thinkers of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Jeffrey Herf
Like the old Dylan records on our shelves, the well-thumbed copies of One-Dimensional Man retain a talismanic and sentimental effect....but political thinkers seeking to understand today's world should look elsewhere.
The New Republic
Jeffrey Herf
Like the old Dylan records on our shelves, the well-thumbed copies of One-Dimensional Man retain a talismanic and sentimental effect....but political thinkers seeking to understand today's world should look elsewhere. -- The New Republic
Kirkus Reviews
Part 1940s period piece, part stimulus to ongoing thought on the social impact of technology, this first in a projected six volumes of Marcuse's papers, many of them previously unpublished, merits the attention of critical theorists and general readers alike. Ably edited and annotated by former Marcuse student Kellner (Philosophy/University of Texas, Austin), Volume One collects papers and several letters (to Max Horkheimer and Martin Heidegger) from the period when Marcuse was moving from theoretical work for his beloved Institute of Social Research (ISR) to more practical studies for the U.S. Office of War Information. The I.S.R., under Horkheimer's direction, continued in the Frankfurt School's tradition of Marxist-inspired social critique. The German concept of critique descends from Kant, who saw himself rescuing reason from its terrible proneness to self-deception. Critical theory in the Frankfurt School shifted the locus of deception from within the human mind outward, to social forces that inevitably transformed, dialectically, into the opposite of what they appeared to be. Marcuse's critique of technology is that, having emerged out of moral human reason, it soon makes reason conform to its own amoral obsession with efficiency and means, regardless of ends. The resulting "technical reason" is a Frankenstein monster that, for Marcuse, explains what the War Office hired him to analyze and propagandize against: Nazi Germany. As new analyses of what Germans call the "Nazi time" continue to appear, Marcuse's reduction of Naziism to technical reason run amok—an excrescence of capitalism, wholly discontinuous with classical German culture—provides a sober alternative tomore inflammatory theories of inbred German anti-Semitism. Any German intellectual selected at random opens up onto that vast, uniquely integrated tradition of thought, bounded by Kant and Heidegger, that partially defines German culture. For the general reader, Marcuse's early essays provide one entree to that world; for the specialist, they provide backdrop to Marcuse's more famous published books.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface by Douglas Kellner, "The Unknown Marcuse: New Archival Discoveries.", Introduction by Douglas Kellner, "Technology, War, and Fascism: Marcuse in the 1940s", 1. "Some Social Implications of Modern Technology", 2. "State and Individual Under National Socialism" with supplement on "Sex and Art Under Nationalism Socialism", 3. " A History of the Doctrine of Social Change" (with Franz Neumann), 4. "A Theory of Social Change" (with Franz Neumann), 5. "The New German Mentality" with supplemental memoranda, 6. "Description of Three Major Projects", 7. "Some Remarks on Aragon: Art and Politics in the Totalitarian Era", 8. "33 Theses", 9. Letters to Horkheimer, 10. Letters to Heidegger.

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Foreword

I am very pleased that these papers from my father's unpublished works are finally seeing the light of day...They are, I think, remarkably relevant today. Their historical interest is indisputable.
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