• Summary
  • Overview
  • Key Readings

The United States has some claim to have risen to a position of intellectual dominance in the social sciences in the post-war years. American social scientists are key players in international conferences and their premier publications have some claim to set international trends. Yet the relationship between American thought and global traditions has been peculiarly under-theorized.

This unparalleled four-volume collection is divided into eight parts that focus on American post-war critical theory with special reference to social theory, sociology and politics. It provides a comprehensive survey of the outstanding contributions in the field.

Peter Beilharz, through a considered selection of articles, argues that American critical theory can be read not only as European, but also as profoundly American and North American. That is, it is hybrid, at ...

Editor's Introduction
PeterBeilharz

What is American Critical Thought? The focus of this collection is on postwar American Critical Theory, with especial reference to social theory, sociology and politics. Postwar, more closely, refers to the period especially from the sixties in which Critical Theory was revived at the hands of New Left intellectuals who had personal contact with the leading figures of the first and second generations of the Frankfurt School, from Adorno and Horkheimer through Marcuse and Lowenthal to Habermas. The idea of American Critical Theory is used therefore both as a direct historical reference to this connection, and as a paradox, for surely there was something like a local critical theory, with reference to pragmatism or the long-established traditions of American self criticism in journalism ...

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