The Portable Hannah Arendt (Penguin Classics)

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9780142437568: The Portable Hannah Arendt (Penguin Classics)

A collection of writings by a groundbreaking political thinker, including excerpts from The Origins of Totalitarianism and Eichmann in Jerusalem

She was a Jew born in Germany in the early twentieth century, and she studied with the greatest German minds of her day—Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers among them. After the rise of the Nazis, she emigrated to America where she proceeded to write some of the most searching, hard-hitting reflections on the agonizing issues of the time: totalitarianism in both Nazi and Stalinist garb; Zionism and the legacy of the Holocaust; federally mandated school desegregation and civil rights in the United States; and the nature of evil.
 
The Portable Hannah Arendt offers substantial excerpts from the three works that ensured her international and enduring stature: The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and Eichmann in Jerusalem. Additionally, this volume includes several other provocative essays, as well as her correspondence with other influential figures.

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Peter Baehr's anthology is a gem made up of 33 selections supplemented by his highly competent introduction, a chronology covering the major events in Hannah Arendt's life, and a basic bibliography. Arendt's erudition and incisive brilliance are well represented throughout. Passages include lengthy excerpts from her major books ( The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, On Revolution, and Eichmann in Jerusalem), shorter excerpts from Rahel Varnhagen and The Life of the Mind, eight essays (four from Between Past and Future, one from Men in Dark Times, and two not previously available in book form), a University of Chicago lecture, her famous television interview with Guenter Gaus, four letters (two to Karl Jaspers, others to Mary McCarthy and Gershom Scholem), and a brief journal entry (on Heidegger "the fox"). Ever sensitive to the limitations of anthologies, particularly for the work of thinkers like Arendt, Baehr has managed to effectively convey the feel of Arendt's conscientious yet combative thinking through his selections and arrangements.

Arendt burst upon the world literary stage in 1951 with The Origins of Totalitarianism and a Saturday Review cover photo. She understood totalitarianism as an unprecedented phenomenon, identifying several elements that fused into it and analyzing totalitarian movements and rule. The success of Origins led to prestigious lectureships and 25 years of fiercely independent writing and teaching. She proved knowledgeable about philosophy as well as history and politics, fluent not only in English and German (her beloved "mother tongue") but also in French, Greek, and Latin. This precocious German Jewess had devoted her college years to studying philosophy, theology, and Greek (with Heidegger, Jaspers, Husserl, and Bultmann!), but the Nazi rise to power compelled Arendt to focus on politics, especially the Jewish question. From the '50s until her death in 1975, Arendt developed and publicly defended controversial views, including her report on the Eichmann trial and her coinage "the banality of evil"; her opposition to integrationist busing and to affirmative action hiring in universities; and her version of (classical) republicanism, rooted in her radical understandings of human action and the dignity of politics. All these views and more find expression in this collection. Of late, Arendt's fame has been rekindled by revelations of her love affair with Heidegger. Now, as we approach her birth centenary (2006), this Portable provides newcomers and faithful admirers alike a marvelous package of Arendt's writings. --Richard Kenney

About the Author:

Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) was University Professor of political philosophy in the graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, a visiting professor at several universities including California, Princeton, Columbia, and Chicago, a research director of the Conference on Jewish Relations, the chief editor of Schocken Books, and the executive director of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction in New York City. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1952, and an Arts and Letters Grant of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1954. She is also the author of Between Past and Future, On Revolution, and Eichmann in Jerusalem, which are available from Penguin Classics.

Peter Baehr is a professor and the department head of the Department of Politics and Sociology at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. His publications include Caesar and the Fading of the Roman World, The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit” of Capitalism and other Writings (editor), and Founders, Classics, Canons: Modern Disputes over the Origins and Appraisal of Sociology’s Heritage

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Book Condition: New. 2003. Reissue. Paperback. Hannah Arendt is considered one of the major contributors to social and political thought in the twentieth century. This title includes selections from her major works, including "The Origins of Totalitarianism", "Between Past and Future", "Men in Dark Times", "The Jew as Pariah", and "The Human Condition", as well as shorter writings and letters. Num Pages: 640 pages. BIC Classification: JFCX; JPA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129 x 29. Weight in Grams: 438. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780142437568

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