Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thomas Frank

2nd\NW Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Thomas Frank (born 1965) is an American historian who writes about what he calls "cultural politics". His writings, which draw heavily on the theory of the Frankfurt School, tend to analyze both the political and cultural economy of the modern American culture wars from a Left perspective. He is the founder and editor of The Baffler and the author of several books, most recently What's the Matter with Kansas? Other writings include essays for Harper's Magazine, Le Monde diplomatique, and the Financial Times.

He began writing a weekly column in the Wall Street Journal on May 14, 2008.


Anonymous said...

On what basis could you possibly claim that Thomas Frank's writings "draw heavily on the theory of the Frankfurt School"?

Not only do Frank's writings not "draw heavily" on the Frankfurt School, but his methods and certainly his conclusions are directly opposed to those associated with the Frankfurt School.

Frank is a populist who believes pasionately in the reality of individual free will.

By contrast, he Frankfurt School was very pessimistic about the possibility of free will. It saw dominant cultural forces as fully responsible for dictating and determining the consciousness of individuals, especially in a non-socialist state.

Frank, on the other hand, believes in engagement in the democratic process, the empowerment of regular people through education, the rebuilding of public infrastructure, and the scaling back of a corrupt and out-of-control business sector.

Are you too lazy to do any research on someone -- I mean, other than his or her Wikipedia entry -- before you post/print something that's patently false?

ibrahim said...

>Are you too lazy...?

No, I'm far from lazy thank God. You should have made a more positive assumption about my work habits. To quote Ice T,"Think positive, and you'll be unable to fall." Yeah, I'm just as perplexed as you probably are as to why of all people a quote from Ice T popped in my head.

Anyway, I'm going to edit the post. Thanks for the correction, and input! No, I'm not being sarcastic. I mean it!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I wanted to apologize for the shrill, self-righteous tone of my comment. I'm frankly quite embarrassed by it and can only assume that I was having a bit of a rough day. Thomas Frank is a bit of a hero of mine, and I think I'm WAY too quick to jump to the conclusion that someone is doing a political hatchet-job on him with the smallest and most inconsequential of statements.

In any event, thanks for your gracious response, and keep up the good work with this blog, which is very interesting both as an idea and in its execution....