The Political Economy of the Frankfurt School

Fleck, ChristianORCID: (2023) The Political Economy of the Frankfurt School. Society, 60 (1), pp. 106-113. DOI: 10.1007/s12115-022-00793-x

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The paper presents the findings of two recent books on the financial history of the Frankfurt School: Jeanette Erazo-Heufelder, Der argentinische Krösus: Kleine Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Frankfurter Schule, 2017, and Bertus Mulder, Sophie Louisa Kwaak und das Kapital der Unternehmerfamilie Weil. Ein Beitrag zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Frankfurter Schule, 2021 (Dutch original 2015). In contrast to the “court histories” of the school, the two authors tell the story of the money that brought the school to life and secured its existence throughout a turbulent period of history. At the center of the books are individuals who have been sidelined until now or even completely ignored by the literature on the Frankfurt School: on the one hand, Felix Weil, who founded and financed the Institute of Social Research and, on the other hand, Erich A. Nadel and Sophie L. Kwaak, two employees of the holding company who managed the accounts of the Weil family and the Institute’s foundations and were responsible for protecting the assets from being seized by Nazis. The books’ thick descriptions induced the author of the present paper to consider an alternative perspective on the Frankfurt School by contemplating Max Horkheimer and Friedrich Pollock as playing confidential games with Weil and others.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Keywords: Max Horkheimer, Sophie Kwaak, Erich Nadel, Friedrich Pollock, Felix Weil, Con man, Frankfurt School, Deviant behavior in inexact sciences
Research Units: Current Research Groups > IHS general publications
Date Deposited: 31 May 2023 08:47
Last Modified: 31 May 2023 08:47
DOI: 10.1007/s12115-022-00793-x
ISSN: 0147-2011

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