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Grand Hotel Abyss


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About the Author

Stuart Jeffries worked for the Guardian for twenty years and has written for many media outlets including the Financial Times and Psychologies. He is based in London.


"Stuart Jeffries has produced a compelling and politically pressing group portrait of the philosophers associated with the Frankfurt School. Their thinking has never seemed less forbidding and more inspiring." - Matthew Beaumont, author of Nightwalking "Throughout the book, Jeffries demonstrates that he is comfortable and conversant with the often thorny philosophical ideas of his subjects. A rich, intellectually meaty history" - Kirkus Reviews "An impressive work of popular intellectual history." - Open Letter Monthly "Jeffries moves swiftly across the decades, retracing the jagged paths from the official founding of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt in June 1924, through its years in exile in New York in the '30s and Los Angeles in the '40s and its hasty return to Frankfurt in the early postwar years, up to the work of Horkheimer and Adorno's prized protege Jurgen Habermas and the Institute's legacy today." - Noah Isenberg, Bookforum "Equally sympathetic and critical, this book is sure to gain an enthusiastic reception from academics, arm chair philosophers, and fellow travelers." - Library Journal "A fractious Europe, a failing currency, a challenged economy, populist parties on the rise, a divided left, migration from the east, an atmosphere of fear combined with social and sexual liberalism. The parallels between Britain today and Germany in the 1920s may well make this a compelling moment to revisit those postwar German thinkers who gathered in what was known as the Frankfurt school for social research - something akin to a Marxist thinktank, though one whose policy papers and brilliant books fed future generations as much or more than their own ... Little wonder, given the history of the 20th century, that the Frankfurt school gave us intellectual pessimism and negative dialectics. Jeffries's biography is proof that such a legacy can be invigorating." - Lisa Appignanesi, Observer "There is much to provoke interest and thought, even entertain, in Jeffries' informative account of a group of highly intelligent observers and analysts of the imprisonment of humanity, both socially and individually by the corrosive system under which it suffers." - Morning Star "Intriguing and provocative ... Jeffries has done a great service in producing such a readable, wry and detailed introduction." - Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman "This seemingly daunting book turned out to be an exhilarating page-turner...Grand Hotel Abyss is an outstanding critical introduction to some of the most fertile, and still relevant, thinkers of the 20th century." - Michael Dirda, The Washington Post "A towering work of staggering scholarship." - Irish Times "Attempts something rather daring ... An easily accessible, funny history of one of the more formidable intellectual movements of the 20th century ... an easy, witty, pacy read" Owen Hatherley, Guardian "Stuart Jeffries's intelligent, accessible new book reminds us of the value of critical thinking." - The Globe and Mail "Marvellously entertaining, exciting and informative" - John Banville, Guardian [Books of the Year] "A valuable introduction to the lives and ideas of an influential group of 20th century philosophers. I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand why much of what passed for radical thought in academia in the late 20th century was so obscure and depressing." - Ian Angus, Climate & Capitalism "[Gives] a step by step insight into what they thought [...] A lot of that stuff they wrote about still applies." - Jason Williamson, Sleaford Mods, Guardian "Capacious, absorbing, and timely." - The Hedgehog Review "An engaging and accessible history of the lives and main ideas of the leading thinkers of the Frankfurt School." - New York Review of Books

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