Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory is the philosopher Herbert Marcuse’s first major work in English – a masterful interpretation of Hegel’s philosophy and the influence it has had on European political thought from the French Revolution to the present day.
Reason & Revolution, written in 1941, was the first Hegelian Marxist text to appear in English, the first systematic study of Hegel by a Marxist, and the first work in English to discuss the young Marx seriously. It introduced introduced Hegelian and Marxist concepts such as alienation, subjectivity, negativity, and the Frankfurt School’s critique of positivism to a wide international audience.
Acclaimed for its profound and undistorted reading of Hegel’s social and political theory, the appreciation of Reason and Revolution has remained high, more relevant now than ever before. There is no better guide than Marcuse to where we have been and to what we might expect.
“In my books, I have tried to make a critique of society — and not only of capitalist society — in terms that avoid all ideology, even the socialist ideology. I have tried to show that contemporary society is a repressive society in all its aspects, that even the comfort, the prosperity, the alleged political and moral freedom, are utilised for oppressive ends.”–Herbert Marcuse, The New York Times Magazine