By Stefan Müller-Doohm

'Even the biographical person is a social category', wrote Adorno. 'It can basically be outlined in a residing context including others.' during this significant new biography, Stefan Muller-Doohm turns this maxim again on Adorno himself and gives a wealthy and entire account of the lifestyles and paintings of 1 of the main magnificent minds of the 20th century.

This authoritative biography levels around the entire of Adorno's lifestyles and occupation, from his adolescence and pupil years to his years in emigration within the usa and his go back to postwar Germany. even as, Muller-Doohm examines the total variety of Adorno's writings on philosophy, sociology, literary idea, tune conception and cultural feedback. Drawing on an array of assets from Adorno's own correspondence with Horkheimer, Benjamin, Berg, Marcuse, Kracauer and Mann to interviews, notes and either released and unpublished writings, Muller-Doohm situates Adorno's contributions within the context of his occasions and offers a wealthy and balanced appraisal of his importance within the twentieth Century as an entire.

Muller-Doohm's transparent prose succeeds in making available essentially the most advanced components of Adorno's suggestion. This extraordinary biography stands out as the typical paintings on Adorno for years yet to come.

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They now occupied a two-storey detached house in a quiet side road. There was a nearby tram stop, and it was easy to reach the centre of town on the number 16 tram. Anyone who entered the house in Seeheimer Straße in Oberrad in which Adorno spent his youth experienced an environment to which he owed a protected childhood in the best sense of the word. The traditions that came together in his parents’ house, the commercial spirit of Oscar Wiesengrund, his Jewish father from Frankfurt, and the aura of music that surrounded his mother Maria .

He was the pampered child of his family. . At home he was called Teddy and this nickname had somehow become known at school. . During break the older boys would wander round slowly in a circle, while we, the younger ones, played our boisterous games. Teddy had a few close friends who, like him, failed to notice that some enemy or other had stuck a piece of paper on his back with the word ‘Teddy’ in large letters. In a trice there was a howling mob after him shouting ‘Teddy’ at their unsuspecting victim.

4 On the other hand, the particular social, cultural and political climate that predominated in Adorno’s home town during this part of the 1920s down to his forced emigration created a sense of security that seemed self-evident, as was perhaps hinted at in his aperçu about the wrong 26 Part I: Origins subjunctive, which he wrote during his years in America. But, in addition, the specific urban culture of Frankfurt acted as a stimulus to intellectual autonomy and independence of thought. Adorno’s childhood years were spent in the period up to the outbreak of the First World War in a big-city environment rich in contrasts.

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