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Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954: Formation, Exile, and Totalitarianism
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Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954: Formation, Exile, and Totalitarianism

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  91 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Few thinkers have tackled the political horrors and complexities of this century with the insight and passionate intellectual integrity of Hannah Arendt. A philosophic champion of human freedom, she was among the first to draw the now-evident parallel between Nazism and Bolshevism and to identify totalitarianism as a threat inherent to the modern world. Jerome Kohn, Arendt ...more
Paperback, 458 pages
Published June 7th 2005 by Schocken Books (first published 1994)
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Jan 25, 2016 Micebyliz rated it liked it
it took me an awfully long time to finish these essays. i set the book aside to read other books, including another Hannah Arendt. Finally today i sorted through the remainder of the most important ones i wanted to read. Some of them were, as i have written before in my reviews, above my paygrade.
I was not a political science/theorist major but i do try to understand the philosophical foundation of her writing. I was particularly interested in the essays with regard to the H0locaust and aftermat
Joseph Sverker
It is close to impossible to review a book like this. There is a huge amount of essays in various topics and written for various contexts. Yet, this is a book well worth reading if one wants to acquaint oneself with Arendt's thinking. The chronological order adds a further interesting aspect to the book, namely to see a sort of development in her thinking. The short format also makes you come closer to Arendt in a quicker way. Some essays might be slightly bound to its time and place, but it is ...more
Apr 22, 2007 Monica rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
i'm reading this in French and it's super-hard. I think if it were in English i'd probably understand about 80% of it - in French i'm at more like 60%. But she's still amazing - i really liked a lot of what she had to say, and really appreciated the lessons on 20th century philosophy that are included among the essays. My one problem with the book, content-wise, was that i found her to be a little bit too accepting of the status quo in the United States. But given what she was reacting against, ...more
May 14, 2009 Mara rated it really liked it
This was an amazing compilation of essays from a transformational political thinker during a historical period that changed the world in many ways. The evolution of thought and evaluation of happenings before, during, and after WWII was eye-opening and moving. Arendt's eloquent verbalization of a new form of terror bravely captures and emphasizes the importance of capturing "reality" no matter how painful to both foster understanding and guard against repetitive mistakes or apathy.
Christine Cordula Dantas
Feb 04, 2013 Christine Cordula Dantas rated it really liked it
Ler textos de Hannah Arendt significa ler textos muito bem escritos. Isso por si já a torna muito interessante. Este livro é uma coletânea de artigos escritos entre 1933 e 1954, e mostram a evolução do pensamento da autora, que era judia, no período que envolveu a 2a. Guerra Mundial. Recomendo.
Jul 27, 2011 Carmen rated it really liked it
Great book. Particularly intriguing were the essays on Kierkegaard and Sartre.
Apr 22, 2008 Patrick\ rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, politcs
Marxist leaning, but a humanist, not a production machine. Arendt is timeless.
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Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) was one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. Born into a German-Jewish family, she was forced to leave Germany in 1933 and lived in Paris for the next eight years, working for a number of Jewish refugee organisations. In 1941 she immigrated to the United States and soon became part of a lively intellectual circle in New York. She held a ...more
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“If one is attacked as a Jew, one must defend oneself as a Jew. Not as a German, not as a world-citizen, not as an upholder of the Rights of Man.” 0 likes
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