By Marshall Berman
"A effervescent caldron of rules . . . Enlightening and valuable." —Mervyn Jones, New Statesman.
The political and social revolutions of the 19th century, the pivotal writings of Goethe, Marx, Dostoevsky, and others, and the construction of recent environments to interchange the old—all have thrust us right into a glossy international of contradictions and ambiguities. during this attention-grabbing booklet, Marshall Berman examines the conflict of sessions, histories, and cultures, and ponders our customers for coming to phrases with the connection among a releasing social and philosophical idealism and a posh, bureaucratic materialism.
From a reinterpretation of Karl Marx to an incisive attention of the influence of Robert Moses on sleek city dwelling, Berman charts the growth of the twentieth-century event. He concludes that variation to continuous flux is attainable and that therein lies our desire for attaining a really glossy society.
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Extra resources for All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity
Wright Mills, editors and translaton, From Max Webtr, Oxford, 1 946). Weber's contemporary and friend Georg Simmel intimates, but never really develops, what is probably the closest thing to a twentieth-century dialectical theory of modernity. See, for example, "The Conflict in Modern Culture," "The Metropolis and Mental Life," "Group Expansion and the Development of Individuality," in Georg Simmel on lndividualitJ and Social Forms, edited by Donald Levine (University of Chicago, 1 97 1 ). In Simmel-and later in his youthful followen Georg Lukacs, T.
It was to overcome this fatal inheritance, he remembers now, that he withdrew from all practical work with people and set out on his solitary intellectual quest, the quest that has led both to knowledge and to intensified isolation, and that almost led him to his death last night. Faust began the day with a new hope, only to find himself thrown into a new form of despair. He knows he cannot fall back on the claustral comforts of his childhood home-though he also knows he can't let himself drift as far from home as he has been for all these years.
Here, just as in futurist and techno-pastoral forms of modernism, modern man as a subject as a living being capable of response, judgment and action in and on the world-has disappeared. * Weber had little faith in the people, but even less in their ruling classes, whether aristocratic or bourgeois, bureaucratic or revolu tionary. Hence his political stance, at least in the last years of his life, was a perpetually embattled liberalism. But when the' Weber" ian remoteness and contempt for modern men and women were split off from Weberian skepticism and critical insight, the result was a politics far to the right of Weber's own.
All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity by Marshall Berman