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About This Book
Adorno is one of the most charismatic thinkers in philosophical history. The bald-headed professor in horn-rimmed glasses gave our modern civilization a fatal diagnosis – perhaps the most fatal one conceivable: we may have raised ourselves through science, capitalism and techniques of state administration to the position of masters over Nature and brought this latter under our control; but we have, precisely thereby, also enslaved ourselves. We have become in the end manipulated victims of the mass consumer society that we ourselves created. All our lives are lived in delusions whose shell we cannot penetrate. "Wrong life cannot be lived rightly": this famous dictum of Adorno's symbolizes, still today, modern Man's uncertainties and contradictions. On the one hand we Westerners enjoy, thanks to capitalism, unprecedented medical and technical blessings; on the other, we feel we're losing ourselves, becoming slaves. Many people sell their labour-power all day and then spend the evening in front of the TV which dangles before them a happy and adventurous world that is long since lost to them. Are we all completely manipulated? Has the Enlightenment project of freeing Man, through reason and science, from superstition really, as Adorno claims, turned into its opposite? Is he right in thinking that science itself is leading us into the danger of a new barbarism? Adorno gives extremely exciting and original answers to these questions. The book "Adorno in 60 Minutes" explains, step by step, his main works, aided in this by over 50 direct quotations from them. In the last chapter "Of What Use is Adorno's Discovery for Us Today?" it is shown what burning relevance his Critical Theory has for the personal life of every one of us today. The book is published as part of the popular series "Great Thinkers in 60 Minutes".