Grand Hotel Abyss: Stuart Jeffries and Sarah Bakewell

Grand Hotel Abyss is a majestic group biography exploring who the Frankfurt School were and why they matter today. Combining biography, philosophy and storytelling, Jeffries explores how the Frankfurt thinkers, including Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse, gathered in hopes of understanding the politics of culture during the rise of fascism. Their lives, like their ideas, profoundly, sometimes tragically, reflected and shaped the shattering events of the twentieth century.

In conversation with Sarah Bakewell, the author of the critically acclaimed At the Existentialist Café, portraying the lives and ideas of the existentialists, Jeffries discussed how the Frankfurt School elaborated upon the nature and crisis of our mass-produced, mechanised society, and how much these ideas still tell us about our age of social media and runaway consumption.