It is of the very definition of any "classic" work that it not only introduce a new depth and direction of thought, but that its original insights endure. Such is the case with Herbert Marcuse's REASON AND REVOLUTION. When this study first appeared in 1940, it was acclaimed for its profound and undistorted reading of Hegel's social and political theory. As its many editions bear witness, especially this one hundredth anniversary edition commemorating the author's birth, the appreciation of Marcuse's work has remained undiminished, and indeed it is today more relevant than ever before.
We are now faced with a political future that initiated itself with the sudden collapse of Soviet Communism and the unexpected declaration of a "New World Order." In this rapidly changing sea of political realities, there is no better guide to where we have been and to what we might expect than Marcuse. As he well understood, turbulent and spectacular political events always ran within channels earlier set by political theory; he equally understood that it was Hegel's often unappreciated and often misunderstood theory that actually set the fundamental path toward modern political life. It is a fortunate combination to have a scholar of Marcuse's unquestioned brilliance and lucid honesty addressing the sources and consequences of Hegel's social theory....Continua