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One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society Paperback

ISBN-13: 004-6442014175 ISBN-10: 0807014176 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 2 edition (October 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807014176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807014172
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Marcuse shows himself to be one of the most radical and forceful thinkers of this time. --The Nation

About the Author

Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) was born in Berlin and educated at the universities of Berlin and Freiburg. He fled Germany in 1933 and arrived in the United States in 1934. Marcuse taught at Columbia, Harvard, Brandeis, and the University of California, San Diego, where he met Andrew Feenberg and William Leiss as graduate students. He is the author of numerous books, including One-Dimensional Man and Eros and Civilization.

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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By "cap_and_gown" on December 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Leftist thinking underwent a dramatic change during the Sixties. After fifteen years of unprecedented prosperity, the class issues that had bedeviled the old left seemed moot. The working class, instead of being immiserated and ripe for revolution, was now contendedly (seemingly) partaking in the general boom and as far from revolution as one could imagine. Already by 1950 C. Wright Mills had coined the term "liberal-labor establishment" to disparage the conservative turn in the labor movement (specifically, the CIO). This seeming repudiation of Marx's predictions fostered a great deal of thinking by members of the Frankfurt School, which included Marcuse, about how marxism should be revised and where it went wrong. One Dimensional Man is Marcuse's brilliant attempt to answer this question.
Why is Marcuse so upset about prosperity? Following in the foot steps of Marx, Marcuse is not simply worried about economic exploitation. His basic concern is liberation--a liberation he sees receeding ever further into the distance as modern industrial society (both capitalist and communist) buys off almost all potential opponents through increased abundance. He views modern society as a treadmill where workers are kept enslaved to their jobs by the desire to purchase newer and ever more products produced by their labor. Rather than seeking for liberation, workers willingly put up with the indignities of working for their capitalist (and socialist) masters in hopes of greater material, as oppossed to spritual abundance.
Yet this society is, at its core, irrational, according Marcuse. Written at during the height of the Cold War, Marcuse views the prepartions for World War III as especially telling of the insanity of the current system.
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43 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Marcuse offers a brilliant critique of advanced industrial society that fuses dialectical thought, Freudian theory, Marxist perspectives, and even a bit of existentialism here and there. It provides a comprehensive critique of our technocratic social order, as it has become, that is reminiscient of the works of later French poststructuralists, like Deleuze and Foucault. Ultimately, Marcuse founders on the contradiction between short-term and long-term interests, explicitly critiquing the Welfare State while implicitly, it could be argued, advocating it. However, "One-Dimensional Man" is the best basis for critique yet, with much of the insight that later emerged in the French intellectual fast track, but without the ambiguity of poststructuralist alternatives. Marcuse is both entertaining and brilliant, a must-read for specialists, and an eye-opening classic for the general educated public.
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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Marcuse was very perceptive about the nature of our technological society.Some of his ideas still have relevance today. He saw how the state and power elites were using technology to control people's lives. This has created a new form of totalitarianism. People are massively controlled and manipulated by technology.Our freedom today is to simply to walk about in our cages and choose the wallpaper. Marcuse points out that inner freedom or private space has been invaded and whittled down by technology reality. The media is especially at fault, and things are much worse than when he wrote in 1964. False needs are so pervasive that most people are not aware of the situation. Marcuse also shows how ideas and thinking processes are being used to limit our perceptions. Marcuse is heavy going, but he has many challenging ideas. My criticism of Marcuse is that he was a materialist himself, therefore could not offer a viable way out. He did not see that the real problem was a moral collapse, and this is destroying our materialist system from the inside.If Marcuse had a spiritual outlook, he would have found the answers in a new set of non-material values.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By not a natural on August 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Herbert Marcuse was one of the original members of the Frankfurt School of critical theory. Along with like-minded colleagues, when Hitler came to power in Germany, Marcuse emigrated to the United States where he taught at a number of universities, including New School for Social Research, Brandeis, and the University of California at San Diego.

Marcuse and the other members of the Frankfurt School, such as Benjamin Nelson, Max Horkheimer, and Theodor Adorno, were profoundly influenced by the work of Karl Marx, including his early work, particularly the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. In addition, however, they were indebted to Hegel, Freud, and Max Weber. This helps to explain their interest in culture as a vehicle of domination and exploitation.

During the 1960's and early 1970's, Marcuse was the most influential New Left philosopher in the U.S., and probably throughout the world. He voiced the suspicion, however, that he was much more often cited than he was actually read. It seems unlikely that he would be pleased to be remembered as one of the three M's: Marx the prophet, Marcuse his interpreter, and Mao his sword. This sort of mindless slogan mongering was sharply at odds with Marcuse's commitment to rigorous scholarship in the pursuit of truth.

After 40 years, I remember One-Dimensional Man best for two relatively simple but paradoxical notions: rationality is never neutral or disinterested, and freedom can be oppressive and contrary to the development of human potential.
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