This is Chapter Two from Herbert Marcuse, Philosopher of Utopia, my book-length comic about Herbert Marcuse’s life and times, published by City Lights Books in April 2019. Herbert Marcuse was a philosopher and political theoretician, often described as father or mentor of the New Left although he denied that characterization. He was born into a prosperous German Jewish family in 1898, and was radicalized by his experiences as a German soldier in World War I. This chapter takes up his experiences from the end of the war.

The book as a whole looks at Herbert Marcuse as a thinker whose experience of thwarted hopes for a better world in 1919, 1946, and 1968 led him to a principled utopianism that “remembers freedom.”




















Subsequent chapters take up Marcuse’s apprenticeship and disenchantment with Martin Heidegger, the rise of fascism, the recruitment of Marcuse by the Institute for Social Research (the “Frankfurt School”), the progression of his thought from Hegel to Freud to consumerism to liberation and repression, his mentoring of Angela Davis, and his improbable and polarizing popularity with the ’sixties radical movements.

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