Adorno, Foucault and the Critique of the West (LBE) (Library Binding)

Adorno, Foucault and the Critique of the West (LBE) By Deborah Cook Cover Image
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The alliance of critical theory between Frankfurt and Paris

Adorno, Foucault and the Critique of the West argues that critical theory continues to offer valuable resources for critique and contestation during this turbulent period. To assess these resources, it examines the work of two of the twentieth century's more prominent social theorists: Theodor W. Adorno and Michel Foucault. Although Adorno was situated squarely in the Marxist tradition that Foucault would occasionally challenge, Deborah Cook demonstrates that their critiques of our current predicament are complementary in important respects. Among other things, these critiques converge in their focus on the historical conditions-economic in Adorno and political in Foucault-that gave rise to the racist and authoritarian tendencies that continue to blight the West. Cook also shows that, when Adorno and Foucault plumb the economic and political forces that have shaped our identities, they offer remarkably similar answers to the perennial question: What is to be done?

About the Author

Deborah Cook is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Windsor, Canada. Her previous books include The Turn Towards Subjectivity: Michel Foucault's Legacy (1993), The Culture Industry Revisited: Theodor W. Adorno on Mass Culture (1996), Adorno, Habermas, and the Search for a Rational Society (2004), Theodor Adorno: Key Concepts (2008) and Adorno on Nature (2011).

Praise For…

“Defying conventional wisdom, Deborah Cook makes a compelling case for the complementarity of Adorno and Foucault’s critical projects. In so doing, she makes clear that the theoretical legacy of the past century still has much to offer in the struggle to meet the daunting challenges of our own.”
—Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley

“Foucault’s relation to the Frankfurt School and the work of one of its key theorists was long overdue a critical reappraisal. Neither reducing one thinker to the other nor drawing artificial lines between traditions, this is a bold and thoughtful contribution to this valuable work. It should be required reading and the basis of wide critical engagement.”
—Stuart Elden, University of Warwick and author of Foucault: The Birth of Power and Foucault’s Last Decade

“Michel Foucault once observed that had he known earlier in life about Frankfurt School critical theorists such as Adorno, he might have written little more than commentaries on their work, and he might have avoided some mistakes as well. Although Adorno and Foucault were surely dissimilar in many respects, Deborah Cook succeeds admirably in marking out the coordinates for their comparison. Alerting us to shared philosophical themes and emancipatory purposes, she has performed a truly important service by building a bridge between these two titans of modern social thought.”
—Peter E. Gordon

“Adorno was never confronted with structuralism and Foucault barely mentioned the Frankfurt School. Nevertheless, their critique of capitalism and Western civilization astonishingly converged. Cannot contemporary radical thought draw inspiration from both Adorno’s unmasking of instrumental reason and Foucault’s lucid investigation of biopolitical power? Deborah Cook establishes an extremely fruitful posthumous dialogue between these great thinkers. Highly readable and admiringly clear, her compelling essay provides many valuable ammunitions for critical theory in the twenty-first century.”
—Enzo Traverso

Product Details
ISBN: 9781788732994
ISBN-10: 1788732995
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: November 27th, 2018
Pages: 192
Language: English