Perhaps read Marx and Weber first? Otherwise it is indeed impossible to follow Adorno and Habermas. I don't know what one would have to do to "understand" Derida, Deleuze and Foucault. A lot of it traces back to Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. All this is a complete mess, and I have decided to stay out of it. (Marx, Nietzsche, Freud I certainly find worth reading). Derrida and Deleuze surely have mastered the principle of confusing the mind through language. I have read something by a Deleuze follower, something which I would not do again.
Anyway, if I had to pick one to read, it would be Lévi-Strauss. Perhaps there is somewhere a good discussion on the analytic tradition versus continental philosophy. Something like Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by
Simon Critchley, might save some headaches.
This distinction only becomes important after the world war 2, because Husserl and Frege were very important for the analytic tradition (see Dummett's origins of analytic philosophy). There was in the 60s a discussion between Chomsky and Foucault. I think this sheds some light on the very different schools of thought. Today, in Germany, there is almost no trace of analytic philosophy to be found, with the exception of the work of Mr. Metzinger in Mainz on consciousness.
However to answer the question here some names from the Frankfurt school and some recent works.
- Jürgen Habermas - Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns (1981)
- Oskar Negt - Keine Demokratie ohne Sozialismus (1976)
- Ulrich Oeverman - Sprache und soziale Herkunft (1970)
- Alfred Schmidt - Existenzialistische Marx-Interpretation (1973)
- Albrecht Wellmer - Ethik und Dialog (1986)
- Rainer Forst - Unterwegs zu einer Diskurstheorie der Gerechtigkeit (2009)
- Klaus Günther - Schuld und kommunikative Freiheit (2005)
- Axel Honneth - Das Recht der Freiheit (2011)
- Martin Seel - Adornos Philosophie der Kontemplation (2004),
- Lutz Wingert - Gemeinsinn und Moral (1993).