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One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society (Routledge Classics)

One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society (Routledge Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Herbert Marcuse
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

One of the most important texts of modern times, Herbert Marcuse's analysis and image of a one-dimensional man in a one-dimensional society has shaped many young radicals' way of seeing and experiencing life. Published in 1964, it fast became an ideological bible for the emergent New Left. As Douglas Kellner notes in his introduction, Marcuse's greatest work was a 'damning indictment of contemporary Western societies, capitalist and communist.' Yet it also expressed the hopes of a radical philosopher that human freedom and happiness could be greatly expanded beyond the regimented thought and behaviour prevalent in established society. For those who held the reigns of power Marcuse's call to arms threatened civilization to its very core. For many others however, it represented a freedom hitherto unimaginable.

About the Author

Herbert Marcuse (1989-1979). Born in Berlin but forced to flee Germany in 1933; gained world renown during the 1960s as a philosopher, social theorist and political activist.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1265 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (11 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #181,918 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two-dimensional book 23 Mar 2007
This book is an absolute essential. Written before the outbreak of 1960s student radicalism, this book highlights the failings and controls of 'advanced industrial capitalism' comprehensively and manages to undermine opposition to his earlier theses of Freudian liberation, alienation and Marxist revisionism.

Although it's useful to read some of Marcuse's earlier texts such as 'Soviet Marxism', 'Eros and Civilisation' and the brilliant 'Reason and Revolution' they are not essential.

The premise of the book is a revisionist Marxist approach to why no revolution had occurred in society. It is staggering in it's response. It argues that the artificial production of false needs generates a false idea of freedom and liberation and this is reinforced by the technological apparatus of capitalism and social control and reinforcement. Whilst many Marxist books are fairly bland rhetoric, this book is superbly subtle, cutting and mind-expanding in it's arguments about the shaping of modern American and Western society as a totalitarian parallel. There's a phenomenal section where Marcuse argues along the lines of 'in Soviet Russia, the party controls all aspects of life, making it totalitarian, in captialist America, the capitalist system and hierarchy controls every aspect of life through artifical manufacturing of happiness and satisfaction through production and consumption of needs.' The book absolutely blew my mind when I first read it and opens up even more doors and inspiration the more I assess it.

In terms of radical or revolutionary politics, this book is beyond an essential, it is the BEST WRITTEN, ARGUED AND FORMULATED counter-culture revolutionary book of at least the last 50 years.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read 14 Nov 2006
I was surpised to see this volume to be still without comment. It has been a while since I read it but it is the kind of comprehensive leftist 'critique' of politics, culture and, yep, even 'existence', that should be read by anyone seeking a deep philisophical approach to these issues. Marcuse's persepctive is persuasive. He adopts a stance which involves a total critique of man's being in capitalist society - how liberation from the alienations of this system on a personal level is the precondition for any broader change. There follows from this alot of talk about "reification", "total estangement", "the great refusal" - all pretty extreme concepts which will challenge any complacency you might have with regard to your freedom.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable 16 July 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is difficult to know how to start a review of One-Dimensional Man. The book is such a superb intellectual tour de force that my immediate instinct is to be afraid of doing it a grave injustice - which may indeed happen. On the other hand, I enjoy reading the reviews others give to books that have engaged me, so I will assume the same is true of anyone who chooses to read this.

One-Dimensional Man reads like an academic text made accessible for the non-specialist, and it may prove difficult reading, in a few short sections, for those unfamiliar with the late drive theory of Freud - cf. the part on 'saved' libido and how it is used. Non-familiarity with Marx is probably less problematical for understanding the thrust of Marcuse's argument(s).

The core of the main argument is that the consciousness of human beings living under modern capitalism has been manipulated to secure the continuation of what is in fact the historically obsolescent domination of man by man. This manipulation has been greatly facilitated by a steep rise in living standards and the spectre of living in a Soviet society, which many erroneously believe to be the only historical alternative to capitalism (this belief too can be traced back to the general manipulation).

The manipulation is so pernicious because of its absolute character and appropriation of concepts such as 'freedom' and 'democracy'. Our needs and desires have become manufactured needs and desires, our thought manufactured thought, our behaviour manufactured behaviour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Much to Offer Contemporary Society 16 Dec 2013
Still Much to Offer Contemporary Society

I arrived at Marcuse as a result of reading Terri Murray's 'Black Mirror Reflections' in issue 97 (July/August 2013) of Philosophy Now (pp42-44). Although Murray's introduction was perhaps somewhat interpretive, it nevertheless sparked an interest in the Man.

ODM is one of those seminal and prophetic texts (à la Boorstin: Image, Postman: Amusing Ourselves to Death, Huxley: BNW, Orwell: 1984) which was written in an age past and which actually resonates louder in the present. One of those works where perhaps even the author could not have imagined how true its prophecy would turn out to be.

Rather than critique this text, I would simply like to offer some extracts which should give the potential reader a flavour of what the work is about.

"The products indoctrinate and manipulate; they produce a false consciousness which is immune against its falsehood. And as these beneficial products become available to more individuals in more social clases, the indoctrination they cary ceases to be publicity; it becomes a way of life. It is a good way of life - much better than before - and as a good way of life, it militates against qualitative change." (p.12)

"Society must first create the material prerequisites fo freedom for all its members before it can be a free society; it must first 'create' the wealth before being able to 'distribute' it according to the freely developing needs of the individual; it must first enable its slaves to learn and see and think before they know what is going on and what they themselves can do to change it." (p.
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