Pub. Date:
University of California Press
Introduction to Critical Theory: Horkheimer to Habermas / Edition 1

Introduction to Critical Theory: Horkheimer to Habermas / Edition 1

by David HeldDavid Held
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The writings of the critical theorists caught the imagination of students and intellectuals in the 1960s and 1970s. They became a key element in the formation and self-understanding of the New Left, and have been the subject of continuing controversy. Partly because of their rise to prominence during the political turmoil of the sixties, and partly because they draw on traditions rarely studied in the Anglo-American world, the works of these authors are often misunderstood.

In this book David Held provides a much-needed introduction to, and evaluation of, critical theory. He is concerned mainly with the thought of the Frankfurt school—Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, in particular—and with Habermas, one of Europe's leading contemporary thinkers. Several of the major themes considered are critical theory's relation to Marx's critique of the political economy, Freudian psychoanalysis, aesthetics, and the philosophy of history. There is also a discussion of critical theory's substantive contribution to the analysis of capitalism, culture, the family, and the individual, as well as its contribution to epistemology and methodology.

Held's book will be necessary reading for all concerned with understanding and evaluating one of the most influential intellectual movements of our time.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'The best introduction to, and analysis of the work of the leading figures in the 'Frankfurt School' that has yet appeared. It should become the standard work in the field.' Political Studies

'An important and usefu book.' Journal of the History of Sociology

'The book is clearly written, packed with information and biographical references, and most of all, well-organized.' Contemporary Sociology

'David Held's book presents the major strands of critical theory in an accessible and comprehensive form ... a valuable presentation and evaluation of the thought of the Frankfurt School and some of its critics.' Political Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520041752
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/13/1980
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 497
Sales rank: 457,217
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.20(d)

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