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Claus Offe 
Reflections on America 
Tocqueville, Weber and Adorno in the United States

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Cover of Claus Offe: Reflections on America (ePUB)
At a time when so many cracks have emerged within the imaginedcommunity of ‘the West’, this important new book, by one ofthe leading social scientists in Europe, examines the intellectualhistory of comparing Europe and the United States. Claus Offeconsiders the perspectives adopted by three of Europe’sgreatest social scientists – Alexis de Tocqueville, Max Weberand Theodor W. Adorno – in their comparative writings on Europe.
While traveling, studying and working in the US, all threeconstantly looked back to their European origins, trying todecipher from their American experience what the future may holdfor Europe, be it for better or worse. Alexis de Tocqueville, the French aristocrat, observed the functioning of American democracywith a mix of admiration, envy and deep concerns about the fate ofliberty in the ‘democratic age’. Max Weber, the Germansociologist, reported enthusiastically about the youthful energy hefound in the United States, which, however, he saw as graduallysuccumbing to the stifling tendencies of Europeanbureaucratization. Theodor W. Adorno, the critical theorist andrefugee from Nazi Germany, observed with a sense of despair theworkings of the American ‘culture industry’ which heequated to the totalitarian experience of Europe, only to switch toa much more favorable picture upon his return to Germany.
Europe and the US are conventionally assumed to share the sametrajectory and develop according to some common pattern of’occidental rationalism’, with the observed differencesresulting from mere lags and relative advances on one side or theother. In this insightful book, Offe questions the relevance ofthis paradigm to transatlantic relations today.
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Table of Content

I. Introduction

II. Alexis de Tocqueville or the Tyranny of the Middle Class

III. Max Weber: American Escape Routes from the Iron Cage

IV. Theodor W. Adorno: ‘Culture Industry’ and Other Views of the ‘American Century’

V. The United States in the Twenty-First Century: Traditions of Religions Socialization and Struggle against ‘Evil’

About the author

Claus Offe, Humboldt University, Berlin

Translated by P. Camiller
Language English ● Format EPUB ● Pages 140 ● ISBN 9780745694566 ● File size 0.3 MB ● Publisher John Wiley & Sons ● Published 2014 ● Downloadable 24 months ● Currency EUR ● ID 3446214 ● Copy protection Adobe DRM
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