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In the Hotel Abyss

An Hegelian-Marxist Critique of Adorno


Robert D. Lanning

This book is a critical analysis of a selection of Adorno’s work framed by four essential concerns: 1) Adorno’s method of analysis; 2) the absence of a theory of social change; 3) the relationship of his approach to the dialectics of Hegel and Marx, particularly, to others in and around the Frankfurt School (Benjamin, Kracauer, Marcuse), and in contrast to scholars such as Lukács and Bloch; and 4) Adorno’s use of his approach with respect to jazz, popular music, radio and pro-fascist propaganda of the 1930s and 40s as an instrument to disparage the working class. The argument is not an affirmation of Adorno’s work, but argues against the significance of aspects of his theoretical perspective.