New York, NY: Routledge (2006)
Theodor Adorno was one of the foremost radical thinkers of the Twentieth century. Critic of the Enlightenment, liberalism and modernity, he was the architect behind the famous Frankfurt School of Critical Theory and his work ranged over philosophy, social and cultural theory, art and music. In this lucid book, Espen Hammer critically considers and defends Adorno's most important contribution: his political thought and it contemporary relevance. Espen Hammer examines the background to Adorno's thought in the work of Kierkegaard, Marx, Weber and Walter Benjamin and assesses Adorno's critique of Enlightenment and modernity in his famous work, Dialectic of Enlightenment. He then considers Adorno's critique of Kant and Hegel and considers Adorno's celebrated theory of negative dialectics. He defends Adorno's against Jurgen Habermas's criticism that Adorno's thought is irrational and subject-centred before considering how Adorno's theory of alterity is evident in the work of Derrida and Levinas. Adorno and the Political is an invigorating exploration of a key political thinker and is also a useful introduction to his thought as a whole. It will be of interest to those in philosophy, sociology and politics.