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Marcuse brings back to center stage one of the most celebrated and controversial philosophers of the turbulent 1960s, the man Time magazine called the "guru of the New Left." In Reason and Revolution, Eros and Civilization, One-Dimensional Man, and other notable works, Herbert Marcuse crystallized the essence of counterculture philosophy. His neo-Marxist critique of Western capitalism was widely embraced by revolutionaries, "hippies," and an entire generation of academics who condemned political, economic, and sexual repression in American society. So complete was Marcuse's identification with the New Left that, with its demise, he and his works fell out of favor. But, as this volume persuasively demonstrates, Marcuse remains vitally relevant for us today. Returning to Marcuse may recall the clash of idealistic exuberance and tragic violence associated with Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury, the Vietnam War, 1968 Democratic Convention, Kent State, and Earth Day, as well as the passionate voices of anti-war and civil rights protesters, environmentalists, feminists, and free love advocates. But this volume does not cater to the simplistic nostalgia of aging baby-boomers. Fifteen leading Marcuse scholars, including Marcuse's son Peter, assess the philosopher's ideas in the radically different theoretical and political contexts of the 1990s. The range of topics covered is distinctly contemporary—Foucault and postmodern theories, analytical Marxism and the demise of the Soviet Union, women's studies and feminist psychoanalytic theory, aesthetic consciousness and postmodern art, radical ecology and cybernetic technology—and includes Douglas Kellner's revealing first look at the unpublished manuscripts in the Marcuse Archives in Frankfurt. Sure to excite liberal as well as irritate conservative culture warriors, these provocative essays illuminate the outlines of a Marcuse revival and the Next Left as both emerge to confront the complex challenges of our times. Description John Bokina is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Texas-Pan American and adjunct professor of political science and public administration at Central Michigan University. He is the author of Images of Spartacus and Opera and Politics: From Monteverdi to Henze. Timothy J. Lukes is professor of political science at Santa Clara University and has authored, coauthored, or edited five books, most recently Politics and Beauty in America: The Liberal Aesthetics of P. T. Barnum, John Muir, and Harley Earl. With a New Preface by the Authors. This Kansas Open Books title is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.



Publication Date



University Press of Kansas


vi, 282 pp.


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© 1994, 2021 by the University Press of Kansas. The text of this book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License.

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Open Access

Marcuse: From the New Left to the Next Left