Fox 1 Lecture 21
Thursday November 28, 2013
A Historical Sketch of the Frankford School
• Frankford school is not a school, but a term used to describe neo-Marxism
thinkers. They were based in University of Frankford in Germany
• They were housed in the institution of social research
A) The Institute for Social Research
• Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, and Theodor Adorno - Three members of the
• There were others one but these are the three most known.
• Horkheimer became the director of the institute in 1930
B) The Rise of Nazi Germany
• Hitler came in power in 1933, established another fascist regime - which shut
down the institute for social research for 2 key reasons:
1. their ideas were not in favour to Hitler
2. many members of the Frankford school were Jewish.
• These individuals left Nazi, Germany.
• Horkheimer and Marcuse headed to the U.S.A.
• Adorno went to England then to the U.S.A
C) Lives and Careers After Leaving Germany
1934 - left Germany, took a position at Columbia (NYC) University. President of
Columbia gave Horkheimer the permission to set up the institute of Social Research.
1940 - became an American citizen
1944 - he published with Adorno, a book called "The Dialectic of Enlightenment" - one of
the best books published by the three boys. Published in German, 1972 - the English
translation came out. 1949 - The war ended, Horkheimer returned to the University of Frankford and re-
opened the institute of Social Research. He continued on with the Director of the
1952 - stepped down as director of the institute but continued to teach at the University
of Frankford and the University of Chicago.
1973 - he died in Germany at the age of 78.
1934 - he went to the USA.
1940 - he became an American citizen and started working for the American
government. Worked for strategic services and did research.
1952 - he began a teaching career at various American universities [including U of
Columbia & Harvard]
1964 - published his best known book "One Dimensional Man Studies in the Ideology of
Advanced Industrial Society"
He was the most left leaning and politically active member of the Frankford school.
Became involved with the rise of left-wing social movements in the United States.
1979 - Died in Germany at the age of 81.
1933 - he started working for four years at Oxford University of England, eventually
decided to join his colleauges in United States
1937 - joined Horkheimer at Columbia University [writing theory and doing research on
classical and contemporary music]
1949 - Joined Horkheimer at the University of Frankford when the institute reopened.
1953 - Took over for Horkheimer at the director of the institute but continued to teach
and do research at the university of Frankf