Since the 1930s the theoretical writings of the Frankfurt School have provided tools for analyses of political and cultural developments in Europe and the United States. Initially a response to Hitler's reign of terror, this influential wing of Western Marxism focused on analyzing the totalitarian potential inherent in any democratic society. Are the arguments of the Frankfurt School still relevant? "Modern Culture and Critical Theory" investigates this question in the context of important issues in contemporary cultural politics: neo-conservatism and new social movements, discontents with modernity and debates on postmodernism, the political hegemony of Ronald Reagan and the cultural hegemony of structuralism and poststructuralism. Throughout, Berman argues that the analysis of political processes must have an aesthetic component. The legacy of the Frankfurt School, he concludes, is one that can tell us much about our contemporary society. It offers us an alternative to the obvious conservatism in the political arena and the less obvious but significant conservatism of some contemporary critical theory.