Katyana's Reviews > Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
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's review
Jan 12, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, classic

I first read this book in a philosophy class, but I have since read it several times. Its wrong to say that I love this book; it would be much more accurate to say I am fascinated by it. I think that the questions it leaves you pondering are honestly some of the key questions of our time. What is personal responsibility? If I am doing what I am ordered to do... what everyone else is doing... how responsible am I for my actions?

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message 1: by Cormack (new)

Cormack Hmm, most of the WWII reading I've done has been from a strategic perspective, with the personal stuff coming from the Pacific theater. I may have to check this out.

Katyana It is honestly really well done. Hannah Arendt got a lot of flack when she first released this book, because no one wanted to hear that the Nazis were just like us. Everyone wanted to believe that they were all essentially monsters, so that they could console themselves that such horrible things could never happen in a "normal" society. What Arendt talks about is how, amazingly, in Nazi Germany evil *became* normal.

Its food for thought, especially in the modern day, when we all pretty much go around doing our thing with no real thought given to how our actions are impacting other people. Further, as a society we largely turn a blind eye to horror - they tell women in self-defense classes to never yell "rape!" because people will more often than not ignore you, not wanting to intercede. Instead we are told to yell "fire!" with the hopes that the rubberneckers drawn to stuff like that will be enough of an audience that the attacker goes away. For most of the masses, they can't be bothered to care about something that doesn't directly impact them. Now that's a nice statement about modern society, eh?

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