Utopia is an introduction to the life and work of Herbert Marcuse, philosopher and guru of the 1960s, rated one of the '100 most important people' of our era. Besides an original and revealing biography, the book covers the principal utopian predecessors of Marcuse, his ideological politics and revolutionary ethics. It also stresses the centrality throughout his career of aesthetics. For those who have tried and failed to understand Marcuse, this work is clarifying and demystifying to the nth degree. The author traces the path which Marcuse travelled from Weimar Germany of the 1920s and 1930s to the University of California in the 1970s and 1980s. He reviews Marcuse’s intellectual growth and the debt he owes to those who went before—among others, Plato, Rousseau, Babeuf, Schiller, Fourier, Bakunin, Marx, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Mannheim. Martineau is not content to plumb the basic texts alone. He quotes sources from journals and newspapers that are not widely known—making the scholarship original and exciting. References such as those to Marcuse’s work for the U.S. State Department, to his students, such as Angela Davis, and to the events of May 1968 in France, give Marcuse’s work not only philosophical importance, but an historical and political one as well.
I. Marcuse the Man
II. The Forerunners of Marcuse’s Utopia
III. Marcuse’s Romantic Aesthetics
IV. Marcuse’s Ideological Politics
V. Marcuse’s Revolutionary Ethics