'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correspondence with Horkheimer, Benjamin, Berg, Marcuse, Kracauer and Mann to interviews, notes and both published and unpublished writings, Muller-Doohm situates Adorno's contributions in the context of his times and provides a rich and balanced appraisal of his significance in the 20th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.
Stefan Muller-Doohm isProfessor of Sociology at Oldenburg University, Germany.
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.
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