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on 7 December 2016
Critical, and as relevant today as ever. Incredibly difficult to read at times, and frustrating for many English readers who are more acquainted with analytical philosophical works, but nonetheless highly worth the energy required to read and understand this fantastic work. One can only stipulate what he would have written should he have been writing in our current economic climate.
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on 4 January 2018
A bit creepy - somehow the pains from the world wars can be felt. If you are into social "science" / engineering, this is for you.
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on 8 July 2016
This is , I think, an amazing book. Each sentence needs careful working through as they are very complex. It is hard work but rewarding. Not for anyone who wants a good, quick read! I take about a page a time and still feel I have not fully understood the whole sense of the sentence. Good luck. I hope I can finish it!
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on 18 June 2016
Good service - excellent
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on 27 September 2016
Adorno, at first grown up upper-class-protected, became acquainted with the horror only outside the family (his mother was a classical musician). Outside: on the school-yards, pursued and pushed by his peer group, because he always was teacher's darling. Outside: being a Jew walking on Nazi-streets of a pre-Hitler Germany with subtle racial discrimination. They soon would build Auschwitz. The same pattern, which at first as the contempt of mediocre school-gangs came into much too close contact to Adorno, secondly reached more painful intensity in the shape of the ideological constructions and daily realities of the National Socialism in the Third Reich. Though no one had a presentiment of the coming Holocaust, Adorno told, that the exploding of inhumanity did not astound him, after all that he had to suffer in the years before. Adorno fled to the U.S. for political reasons and because his father had Jewish roots. He worked in New York in the "Institute for Social Research". After exile (in the 1950s) Adorno returned to Frankfurt. He soon became a hero of the student revolts of 1968, but unfortunately students prefered a style of discussion and acting (Adorno's lectures were disrupted by bare breast girls), - a style of discussion and acting, which the (latent conservative) upper-class child Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (called "Teddy" by the students) disliked in the beginning, in the middle and at the end of his life. His literary and philosophical masterpiece MINIMA MORALIA however is a testament of a razor-sharp philosophical mind, using an élitist, brilliantly aphoristic language. He continually followed the principle, that the only method to write nowadays is an essayistic, non-systematic, code word analyzing method, considering the fact, that big mega-philosophies (fascism, marxism ...) always tumble down after a while or seep silently, trickle away by the working process of dialectic thinkers. Since the attack against the World Trade Center in New York the understanding grows, that living in bondage with a false philosophy or a fundamentalist religion or an impudence nation (sometimes difficult to decide) nearly inevitably leads into a catastrophe. It is a maybe confusing but easily remembered coincidence, that Adorno's birthday is on a "September Eleven" (9/11/1903), duplicating the hint at the warning that ideological instigation gives rise to an escalation of terrible disasters. Like a Noam Chomsky or a grandchild of Nietzsche, Marx and Kierkegaard this German philosopher, co-founder of the so-called "Frankfurter Schule", provides with ample food for thought with his dense, challenging prose. But on the other hand he very lowly uses language as a poet, describing daily life and it's false consciousness: leading the view to Proust or Sigmund Freud, to "Golden Gate" or "Tough Babies", to cats or mammoths, to marriage and divorce, to "L 'inutile beauté" or "Wishful Thinking", to "Il servo padrone" and "They, the people": if you decide to read Adorno, you will forget the present world of violence and you will enter an inspiring galaxy of ideas. The modesty of Adorno's working method, trying to convince linguistically only by small artful steps, this could be a comfort-rich meditation assistance for those, who live in rough political and urban scenes ...
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 May 2015
Not a book for the faint-minded, this book is like Benjamin's 'Illuminations' in being a set of variations on some themes, the result of the Marxist revolution failing to fulfill it's promise then, on failing to ignite in 1918 Germany, forcing its Frankfurt School eminences to crash into Los Angles, which is enough to make any mittel European intellectual think. To consider this austere product of idiosyncratic Marxism happening upon America at its brashest, and to a concert grade pianist such as Adorno at that, goes some way to explain why his apercus are so gnomic. Not for him anything like crackerbarrel 'philosophy': he wants to inspect culture with an acute eye and capture his mind as it seizes illumination - well that seems to me why his meditations resemble a poet's rather than philosophy as i know it. In this he is like his friend Walter Benjamin; when advocates of the group spoke of its luminary they, including Adorno, mean that sometime stylistic genius Benjamin; Adorno was likely its finest intellect though. A difficult, profound book. Geoff Dyer has recently written of paying homage to Adorno at his old L.A. domicile; it is a nice thought.
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on 30 June 2017
'the splinter in the eye is the best magnifying glass'. not just a nice quote, but a summation of Minima Moralia, even though Adorno permits no summaries. Conceived as a collection of fragments of the "false whole", Minima Moralia traverses subjects as varied as zoo's, individuality, the home, slang, dialectical method, childhood, enlightenment as myth, fascism; illuminating each as the torch of Adorno's prose takes hold. This is not a book for those who avoid a challenge, but neither is the book a pain insofar as each fragment lasts at most two pages. When I first read this book I could barely follow the sentences or the arguments, years later sometimes I still can't, but in hindsight, that refusal to give-up on Adorno was life-changing for me. In many ways he taught me "how to think".

For Adorno, style/form are centrally important. Those who want concise familiar language are inflections of the bad totality he here indicts. However his language isn't excessive like much academia today; the struggle with Adorno's language reflects his own struggle with the object his thought takes up. The shattered pieces Adorno collected here, in the aftermath of WW2, are witness to his attempt to live the life that no longer lives; to survive, and envisage utopia in a world of catastrophes. Minima Moralia's kaleidoscopic manner, though less rigorous and focused than his major philosophical works, is with a few honest reads, in any order, as worthwhile as any, and amounts in my mind to one of the greatest works of the 20th Century (of any genre, form). The fidelity of Adorno's thought to the not-yet-existent, as outlawed today as ever, and the insights it transmits, would make this a masterpiece if only that phrase didn't suffer semantic satiation. If you honestly want to learn how to think, rather than what to think, buy this book. It's a truism that most people want the latter, fine, I have no anger towards those who simply want a content life. But for those who sense that happiness missing even when it's stated, this is secularised gospel with no empty prayers.
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on 5 September 2010
Minima Moralia consists of loosely connected meditations and ponderings on society and culture. Adorno was clearly an incredibly perceptive mind, and these rueful meditations observe how the wider forces of capitalism creep into the minutiae of our lives. Adorno laments the brusque and utilitarian quality of door shutting, the demise of the French brothel, as well as making broader digs at targets like revolutionary communism. Minima Moralia, and this is probably the best compliment you can pay so called critical theory, is a provocative and quite depressing work, showcasing Adorno's seemingly endless disgust toward life in capitalist society. I'd say it ranks with the works of other great provocateurs like Nietzsche and Foucault, doing the Socratic job of making us uncomfortable about how we are living our lives.

Minima Moralia is also a nice companion volume to Adorno and Horkheimer's more widely read "Dialectic of Enlightenment". Adorno's thinking is more relaxed and concrete here, showing his talent for a telling story and a wry observation. You could, rather simplistically, read Minima Moralia as a catalogue of the sort of observations that led to the Dialectic's grand theses about Enlightnement and modern reason. For those like me who found the Dialectic infuriating, this work gives you some insight into what led to Adorno and Horkheimer's rather baffling claims.
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on 31 December 2014
thanks you
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on 11 May 2015
Thank you
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