Andreas Reckwitz

The End of Illusions - Politics, Economics and Culture in the Late-Modern Age

(German title: Das Ende der Illusionen)
ca. 150 pages
Andreas Reckwitz
Foto: Andreas Reckwitz
© Jürgen Bauer

Andreas Reckwitz, born in 1970, is professor of social theory and cultural sociology at Humboldt University, Berlin. His 2017 book The Society of Singularities was nominated for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair and awarded the Bayrischer Buchpreis. In 2018, he received a Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis. In 2019 he will be Fellow at Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles.

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32.000 copies sold so far


Up until just a few years ago, Western societies seemed to be moving forward in the assumed certainty of social progress: the worldwide triumph of democracy and the market economy seemed unstoppable; liberalisation and emancipation, the information society, and the pluralisation of lifestyles appeared to be the guiding concepts of the future. At the latest with Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, however, people came to the painful understanding that it was all an illusion.

Only now has the degree of society’s structural change become visible: the old industrial modern has been replaced by the late-modern age, which is characterised by new polarisations and paradoxes – progress and anxiety are inextricably entwined. In a series of essays Andreas Reckwitz pointedly maps out the central structural characteristics of the present: the new class society, the features of a post-industrial economy, the conflicts within culture and identity, the fatigue that arises from the imperative of self-realisation and the crisis of liberalism.


»Sociologist Andreas Reckwitz decodes the dynamics of development of contemporary societies between openness and regulation. And lo and behold: A new kind of liberalism would have a good chance.« Jens Bisky, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»Reckwitz’ descriptions of cognitive-cultural capitalism and its consequences are impressive […]« Armin Nassehi, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»The book not only analyses the creation of the liberal development story, it also provides categories to redefine political events.« Isolde Charim, taz. die tageszeitung

»Following the groundbreaking study The Society of Singularities, Andreas Reckwitz deals with the structural transformation of society in this collection of essays. The sociologist dissects the new class society, post-industrial economics, the conflicts revolving around culture and identity and the imperative of individual fulfilment from which exhaustion and weariness of democracy emanate.« DIE ZEIT

»If you want to know why the old securities the Federal Republic of Germany seemed to guarantee have been thrown off track, you have to read reckwitz. An elegant-intelligent tour de force through politics, economics and culture.« Die Literarische Welt

»An illuminating, urgent book.« Svenja Flaßpöhler, Philosphie Magazin

»After reading his book one looks forward to Andreas Reckwitz‘ next great feat with excitement.« Das Parlament

»[Reckwitz] follows up with The End of Illusions, an equally enlightening colletion of five essays that connects to [The Society of Singularities] and intensifies his insights into the current state of politics, the economy and society. Many a phenomena that we have been mystified by until now is thus deciphered.« Gunther Hartwig, Südwest Presse

»A sociologist delivers shrewd general theories of our times.« DIE ZEIT about The Society of Singularities

Other publications

Die Gesellschaft der Singularitäten/The Society of Singularities (2017)

Sold to:

English world rights (Polity), Chinese simplex rights (Social Sciences Academic Press), France (MSH), Denmark (Reitzels), Korea (Saemulgyul), Turkey (Tün Kitap)

Die Erfindung der Kreativität/The Invention of Creativity (2012)

Sold to:

English world rights (Polity), Denmark (Reitzels), Korea (Saemulgyul), Poland (National Centre for Culture)