A Critique of Pure Tolerance

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A Critique of Pure Tolerance
A Critique of Pure Tolerance.jpg
The 1969 Beacon Press edition
Author Robert Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore, Jr., Herbert Marcuse
Country United States
Language English
Genre Philosophy
Published 1965 (Beacon Press)
Media type Print
Pages 123

A Critique of Pure Tolerance is a 1965 book by Robert Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore, Jr., and Herbert Marcuse.


The book consists of three papers, "Beyond Tolerance" by Wolff, "Tolerance and the Scientific Outlook" by Moore, and "Repressive Tolerance" by Marcuse. In his contribution, Marcuse argues that the ideal of tolerance belongs to a liberal, democratic tradition that has become exhausted. Liberal society is based on a form of domination so subtle that the majority accept and even will their servitude. Marcuse believes that under such conditions tolerance as traditionally understood serves the cause of domination and that a new kind of tolerance is therefore needed: tolerance of the Left, subversion, and revolutionary violence, combined with intolerance of the Right, existing institutions, and opposition to socialism.[1]

Scholarly reception[edit]

Writing in 1970, Maurice Cranston called A Critique of Pure Tolerance Marcuse's most popular and disturbing work to date. Cranston commented that the book was published, "in a peculiar format, bound in black like a prayer book or missal and perhaps designed to compete with The Thoughts of Chairman Mao as devotional reading at student sit-ins."[1]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Cranston 1970. p. 87.


  • Cranston, Maurice (1970). Cranston, Maurice, ed. The New Left. London: The Bodley Head Ltd. ISBN 0 370 00397 7.