In Focus

The Light From the East by Lee Congdon


Martin Jay: Marxism and Totality: The Adventures of a Concept From Lukacs to Habermas; University of California Press; Berkeley, CA.


Like the exponents of Critical Theory, the subjects of his first book, Martin Jay considers himself to be an "extraterritorial" outsider. Professor of history at the University of California at Berkeley, he insists that he and others on the left have been consigned to the academic ghetto. Radical in his sympathies, he continues to maintain his distance from organized political groups. The tradition of "Western Marxism," which he made his own during the 1960's, has remained alive for him "not through its concrete embodiments in movements, mass or otherwise, for radical social change, but rather through a dispersed cultural community of radical ... intellectuals."



Because he is frankly disillusioned by socialism's record in power as well as by "bourgeois" society's annoying resiliency, he prefers to reside in the dense verbal world constructed by the contributors to such journals as Telos, New Left...

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