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Far from being evil incarnate, as the prosecution painted Eichmann, Arendt maintains that he was an average man, a petty bureaucrat interested only in furthering his career, and the evil he did came from the seductive power of the totalitarian state and an unthinking adherence to the Nazi cause. Indeed, Eichmann's only defense during the trial was "I was just following orders."
Arendt's analysis of the seductive nature of evil is a disturbing one. We would like to think that anyone who would perpetrate such horror on the world is different from us, and that such atrocities are rarities in our world. But the history of groups such as the Jews, Kurds, Bosnians, and Native Americans, to name but a few, seems to suggest that such evil is all too commonplace. In revealing Eichmann as the pedestrian little man that he was, Arendt shows us that the veneer of civilization is a thin one indeed.
She showed how his defense was inadequate. He provided lots of information willingly, but this helpfulness was not shown in the courtroom.Published 27 days ago by Hal
I'm reading it at this very moment, but only to page 14. Call me later, OK?Published 1 month ago by Pete Allenbach
Packaging was fine however 2 books arrived with bent covers and folded pages. I realize that may be inevitable givin the fact that these packages travel hundreds of miles but some... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eric VanOrden
This is a very dense book but crucial to society & study history. I bought this book to use it in my essay in Philosophy of Management and Organization in my graduate school in... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Author MichaelAngela
Very well written, Arendt shows how scholarly writing needs not be dull or partialPublished 1 month ago by L. Ribeiro
A deeply disturbing reminder of the depravity of elements of humankind in times of warPublished 2 months ago by Peter Davisson
What more can one say about this seminal book? A must read for any person who is puzzled and troubled over mankind's continuing inhumanity to the innocent victims- men, women and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
When this book was first published the response from many, mainly people who had not read it was irrational and irresponsible. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
As a former German having taught history in the US for decades, the book represents an historic angle that I have not experienced in years. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Birgit Clager