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The correspondence between Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers begins in 1926, when the twenty-year-old Arendt studied philosophy with Jaspers in Heidelberg. It is interrupted by Arendt's emigration and Jaspers's "inner emigration, " and it is resumed immediately after World War II. The initial teacher-student relationship develops into a close friendship, in which Jasper's wife, Gertrud, is soon included and then Arendt's husband, Heinrich Blucher. These letters show not only the way both philosophers lived, thought, and worked but also how they experienced the postwar years. Since neither ever dreamed that this correspondence would be published, and each had absolute trust in the other, they reveal themselves here - for the first time - in a personal and spontaneous way. Brilliant, vulnerable, forthright, Arendt speaks about America, her adopted country. About American universities, American politics from McCarthyism to Kennedy, American urban decay. She speaks about Germany, the country she left: its anti-Semitism, its guilt for the Holocaust, its politics. And about Israel, which she always supported as a Jew but also criticized, especially in her controversial book about the trial and execution of Adolf Eichmann in 1961. In his dialogue with Arendt, the thoughtful, generous, concerned Jaspers considers the question of the German essence, and of the Jewish character. He speaks about philosophers past and present - Spinoza, Heidegger. About old age and retirement. Corrupt journalism. Suicide. Man's future on this planet. Here is a fascinating dialogue between a woman and a man, a Jew and a German, a questioner and a visionary, both uncompromising in their examination of our troubledcentury.
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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.Language Notes:
Original Language: German
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