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About Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) taught political science and philosophy at The New School for Social Research in New York and the University of Chicago. Widely acclaimed as a brilliant and original thinker, her works include Eichmann in Jerusalem and The Human Condition.
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The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time??—??Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia??—??which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.
Taking an in-depth look at the tumult of the 1960s and ’70s, one of the great political philosophers of our era examines how these crises challenged the American form of government. “Lying in Politics” is a penetrating analysis of the Pentagon Papers that deals with the role of image-making and public relations. “Civil Disobedience” examines various opposition movements, from the Freedom Riders to the war resisters to the segregationists. And in two additional essays, Hannah Arendt delves into issues of revolution and violence.
Wise and insightful, these pieces offer historical perspective on problems and controversies that still plague the United States in the twenty-first century.
Sparking a flurry of heated debate, Hannah Arendt’s authoritative and stunning report on the trial of German Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann first appeared as a series of articles in The New Yorker in 1963. This revised edition includes material that came to light after the trial, as well as Arendt’s postscript directly addressing the controversy that arose over her account. A major journalistic triumph by an intellectual of singular influence, Eichmann in Jerusalem is as shocking as it is informative—an unflinching look at one of the most unsettling (and unsettled) issues of the twentieth century.
A work of striking originality, The Human Condition is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions—continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of its original publication, contains Margaret Canovan’s 1998 introduction and a new foreword by Danielle Allen.
A classic in political and social theory, The Human Condition is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely.
Considered by many to be Hannah Arendt’s greatest work, published as she neared the end of her life, The Life of the Mind investigates thought itself, as it exists in contemplative life. In a shift from her previous writings, most of which focus on the world outside the mind, this work was planned as three volumes that would explore the activities of the mind considered by Arendt to be fundamental. What emerged is a rich, challenging analysis of human mental activity, considered in terms of thinking, willing, and judging.
This final achievement, presented here in a complete one-volume edition, may be seen as a legacy to our own and future generations.
Hannah Arendt’s penetrating observations on the modern world, based on a profound knowledge of the past, have been fundamental to our understanding of our political landscape. On Revolution is her classic exploration of a phenomenon that has reshaped the globe. From the eighteenth-century rebellions in America and France to the explosive changes of the twentieth century, Arendt traces the changing face of revolution and its relationship to war while underscoring the crucial role such events will play in the future. Illuminating and prescient, this timeless work will fascinate anyone who seeks to decipher the forces that shape our tumultuous age.
Hannah Arendt, the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism and The Human Condition, began her scholarly career with an exploration of Saint Augustine’s concept of caritas, or neighborly love, written under the direction of Karl Jaspers and the influence of Martin Heidegger. After her German academic life came to a halt in 1933, Arendt carried her dissertation into exile in France, and years later took the same battered and stained copy to New York.
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, as she was completing or reworking her most influential studies of political life, Arendt was simultaneously annotating and revising her dissertation on Augustine, amplifying its argument with terms and concepts she was using in her political works of the same period. The dissertation became a bridge over which Arendt traveled back and forth between 1929 Heidelberg and 1960s New York, carrying with her Augustine's question about the possibility of social life in an age of rapid political and moral change.
In Love and Saint Augustine, political science professor Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott and philosophy professor Judith Chelius Stark make this important early work accessible for the first time. Here is a completely corrected and revised English translation that incorporates Arendt’s own substantial revisions and provides additional notes based on letters, contracts, and other documents as well as the recollections of Arendt's friends and colleagues during her later years.
“Both the dissertation and the accompanying essay are accessible to informed lay readers. Scott and Stark's conclusions about the cohesive evolution of Arendt’s thought are compelling but leave room for continuing discussion.”—Library Journal
“A revelation.”—Kirkus Reviews
In 1951 she published The Origins of Totalitarianism, in 1958 The Human Condition, in 1961 Between Past and Future, in 1963 On Revolution and Eichmann in Jerusalem, in 1968 Men in Dark Times, in 1970 On Violence, in 1972 Crises of the Republic, and in 1978, posthumously, The Life of the Mind. Starting at the turn of the twenty-first century, Schocken Books has published a series of collections of Arendt’s unpublished and uncollected writings, of which Thinking Without a Banister is the fifth volume.
The title refers to Arendt’s description of her experience of thinking, an activity she indulged without any of the traditional religious, moral, political, or philosophic pillars of support. The book’s contents are varied: the essays, lectures, reviews, interviews, speeches, and editorials, taken together, manifest the relentless activity of her mind as well as her character, acquainting the reader with the person Arendt was, and who has hardly yet been appreciated or understood.
(Edited and with an introduction by Jerome Kohn)
The political theorist and author of The Origins of Totalitarianism offers an “incisive, deeply probing” essay on violence and political power (The Nation).
Addressing the escalation of global warfare witnessed throughout the 1960s, Hannah Arendt points out that the glorification of violence is not restricted to a small minority of militants and extremists. The public revulsion for violence that followed World War II has dissipated, as have the nonviolent philosophies of the early civil rights movement.
Contemplating how this reversal came about and where it might lead, Arendt examines the relationship between war and politics, violence and power. She questions the nature of violent behavior and identifies the causes of its many manifestations. Ultimately, she argues against Mao Tse-tung’s dictum that “power grow out of the barrel of a gun,” proposing instead that “power and violence are opposite; where the one rules absolutely, the other is absent.”
“Written with clarity and grace, it provides an ideal framework for understanding the turbulence of our times.”—The Nation
In the final volume of her classic work The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt focuses on the two genuine forms of the totalitarian state in modern history: the dictatorships of Bolshevism after 1930 and of National Socialism after 1938. Identifying terror as the very essence of this form of government, she discusses the transformation of classes into masses and the use of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world—and in her brilliant concluding chapter, she analyzes the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.
“The most original and profound—therefore the most valuable—political theoretician of our times.” —Dwight Macdonald, The New Leader
Hannah Arendt’s insightful observations of the modern world, based on a profound knowledge of the past, constitute an impassioned contribution to political philosophy. In Between Past and Future Arendt describes the perplexing crises modern society faces as a result of the loss of meaning of the traditional key words of politics: justice, reason, responsibility, virtue, and glory. Through a series of eight exercises, she shows how we can redistill the vital essence of these concepts and use them to regain a frame of reference for the future. To participate in these exercises is to associate, in action, with one of the most original and fruitful minds of the twentieth century.