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The Modernist Imagination: Intellectual History and Critical Theory

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The Modernist Imagination

Intellectual History and Critical Theory

Edited by Warren Breckman, Peter E. Gordon, A. Dirk Moses, Samuel Moyn and Elliot Neaman

458 pages, 8 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-428-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2008)

ISBN  978-0-85745-307-5 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (February 2011)

eISBN 978-1-84545-881-2 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"This volume illustrates what it means to do intellectual history and demonstrates why intellectual history remains important, especially in the context of... the ‘political history of ideas’."  ·  German Studies Review

“Each essay, in its own right, is accomplished, well written, and highly engaging (even when one disagrees with its claims).”  ·  H-German


Some of the most exciting and innovative work in the humanities currently takes place at the intersection of intellectual history and critical theory. Just as critical theorists are becoming more aware of the historicity of theory, contemporary practitioners of modern intellectual history are recognizing their potential contributions to theoretical discourse. No one has done more than Martin Jay to realize the possibilities for mutual enrichment between intellectual history and critical theory. This carefully selected collection of essays addresses central questions and current practices of intellectual history and asks how the legacy of critical theory has influenced scholarship across a wide range of scholarly disciplines. In honor of Martin Jay's unparalleled achievements, this volume includes work from some of the most prominent contemporary scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

Warren Breckman is Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and executive editor of the Journal of the History of Ideas.

Peter E. Gordon is Professor of European History at Harvard University.

A. Dirk Moses is Chair of Global and Colonial History at the European University Institute, Florence / University of Sydney.

Samuel Moyn is Professor of European History at Columbia University.

Elliot Neaman is Professor of European History at the University of San Francisco.

Subject: History (General)


Editors’ Preface

Chapter 1. Martin Jay and the Dialectics of Intellectual History
Lloyd Kramer


Chapter 2. The Kiss of Lamourette: ‘Possibilism’ or ‘Christian Democracy’?
David Sorkin

Chapter 3. Selves without Qualities: Duchamp, Musil, and the History of Selfhood
Jerrold Seigel

Chapter 4. Liberty and the ‘Coming-into-Being’ of Natural Law: Hans Kelsen and Ernst Cassirer
Gregory B. Moynahan

Chapter 5. The Artwork Beyond Itself: Adorno, Beethoven, and Late Style
Peter E. Gordon

Chapter 6. Marxism and Alterity: Claude Lefort and the Critique of Totality
Samuel Moyn

Chapter 7. The Return of the King: Hegelianism and Post-Marxism in Zizek and Nancy
Warren Breckman

Chapter 8. Paradigm Shift: The Speculation of Downcast Eyes
Rosalind Krauss


Chapter 9. Memory Culture at an Impasse: Memorials in Berlin and New York
Andreas Huyssen

Chapter 10. Against Grandiloquence: ‘Victim’s Culture’ and Jewish Memory
Carolyn J. Dean

Chapter 11. Paris, Capital of Antifascism
Anson Rabinbach

Chapter 12. Toward a Critique of Violence
Dominick LaCapra

Chapter 13. Democratization, Turks, and the Burden of German History
Rita Chin

Chapter 14. The Gewaltfrage and Postwar West: German Generations in the 1960s
A. Dirk Moses and Elliot Neaman


Chapter 15. From ‘The Dialectic of Enlightenment’ to ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’ and the Genocide Convention: Adorno and Horkheimer in the Company of Arendt and Lemkin
Seyla Benhabib

Chapter 16. Western Marxism, Morality, and Politics
Dick Howard

Chapter 17. Sovereign Equality vs. Imperial Right: The Battle Over the ‘New World Order’
Jean Cohen

Chapter 18. The Myths of Modern Identity as Ersatz Ideologies
Detlef Claussen and Michael Werz


Chapter 19. An Interview with Martin Jay

Bibliography of the Writings of Martin Jay

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