By David Jenemann
“For these susceptible to push aside Adorno’s tackle the US because the uncomprehending condescension of a mandarin elitist, David Jenemann’s superb new publication will come as a impolite awakening. Exploiting a wealth of latest assets, he persuasively exhibits the intensity of Adorno’s engagement with the tradition and the complexity of his response to it.” —Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of background, college of California, Berkeley
The German thinker and cultural critic Theodor W. Adorno used to be one of many towering highbrow figures of the 20 th century, and among 1938 and 1953 he lived in exile within the usa. within the first in-depth account of this era of Adorno’s existence, David Jenemann examines Adorno’s disagreement with the burgeoning American “culture undefined” and casts new mild on Adorno’s writings in regards to the mass media. opposite to the generally held belief—even between his defenders—that Adorno used to be disconnected from the United States and disdained its tradition, Jenemann unearths that Adorno used to be an lively and engaged player in cultural and highbrow lifestyles in the course of those years.
From the time he first arrived in manhattan in 1938 to paintings for the Princeton Radio study undertaking, exploring the influence of radio on American society and the maturing advertising innovations of the nationwide radio networks, Adorno was once devoted to figuring out the technological and social effect of renowned artwork within the usa. Adorno carried those pursuits with him to Hollywood, the place he and Max Horkheimer tried to make a movie for his or her stories in Prejudice undertaking and the place he befriended Thomas Mann and helped him craft his recognized novel Doctor Faustus. Shuttling among insightful readings of Adorno’s theories and a wealthy physique of archival materials—including unpublished writings and FBI files—Jenemann paints a portrait of Adorno’s years in big apple and l. a. and tells the cultural background of an the United States coming to grips with its quickly evolving mass culture.
Adorno in America eloquently and persuasively argues for a extra advanced, extra intimate dating among Adorno and American society than has ever been formerly said. What emerges is not just a picture of an highbrow in exile, yet finally a rediscovery of Adorno as a powerful defender of an essential and clever democracy.
David Jenemann is assistant professor of English on the college of Vermont.
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Adorno in America by David Jenemann