The American Experience of the Critical Theorists
DOI link for The American Experience of the Critical Theorists
The American Experience of the Critical Theorists book
The critical theorists and the critical theory could have survived in Europe under National Socialism or Stalinism. Columbia University's offer to let the Institute for Social Research relocate to New York made it possible for the refugees from Frankfurt to continue their work under a scientific guise in the distrustful, but democratic, United States of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Those who have not learned how to think dialec-tically will find Horkheimers way of capturing historical experience in theory wholly alien. To try to think about critical theory without thinking about the experience of American exile is to run the risk of misunderstanding the concept of critical theory. To be sure, many of the crucial aspects of the theory received their first articulation during the Weimar years. Only after coming to the US, that is, did Horkheimer come to reinterpret the experience of the missing revolution as that of the impossibility of revolution within the relations of fully developed capitalism.