Best Selling Books by Hannah Arendt

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The Origins of Totalitarianism

“How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times, even if they are different and perhaps less dark, and “Origins” raises a set of fundamental questions about how tyranny can arise and the dangerous forms of inhumanity to which it can lead.”   Jeffrey C. Isaac, The Washington Post

Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism and an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history

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.

release date: Sep 22, 2006
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Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (Penguin Classics)
The controversial journalistic analysis of the mentality that fostered the Holocaust, from the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism
 
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.
release date: Oct 25, 2016
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The 60s: The Story of a Decade
The third installment of a fascinating decade-by-decade series, this anthology collects historic New Yorker pieces from the most tumultuous years of the twentieth century—including work by James Baldwin, Pauline Kael, Sylvia Plath, Roger Angell, Muriel Spark, and John Updike—alongside new assessments of the 1960s by some of today’s finest writers.
 
Here are real-time accounts of these years of turmoil: Calvin Trillin reports on the integration of Southern universities, E. B. White and John Updike wrestle with the enormity of the Kennedy assassination, and Jonathan Schell travels with American troops into the jungles of Vietnam. The murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., the fallout of the 1968 Democratic Convention, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Six-Day War: All are brought to immediate and profound life in these pages.
 
The New Yorker of the 1960s was also the wellspring of some of the truly timeless works of American journalism. Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time all first appeared in The New Yorker and are featured here. The magazine also published such indelible short story masterpieces as John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” and John Updike’s “A & P,” alongside poems by Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.
 
The arts underwent an extraordinary transformation during the decade, one mirrored by the emergence in The New Yorker of critical voices as arresting as Pauline Kael and Kenneth Tynan. Among the crucial cultural figures profiled here are Simon & Garfunkel, Tom Stoppard, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Cassius Clay (before he was Muhammad Ali), and Mike Nichols and Elaine May.
 
The assembled pieces are given fascinating contemporary context by current New Yorker writers, including Jill Lepore, Malcolm Gladwell, and David Remnick. The result is an incomparable collective portrait of a truly galvanizing era.

Advance praise for The 60s: The Story of a Decade

“The third installment in the esteemed magazine’s superb decades series . . . The contributor list is an embarrassment of riches. . . . The hits continue. Bring on the '70s.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[The 60s] deserves a lasting place on one’s shelves. Like its predecessors in the series, this collection is a time capsule and a keeper.”Booklist
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release date: Dec 01, 1998
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The Human Condition, 2nd Edition
A work of striking originality bursting with unexpected insights, 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 fortieth anniversary of its original publication, contains an improved and expanded index and a new introduction by noted Arendt scholar Margaret Canovan which incisively analyzes the book's argument and examines its present relevance. A classic in political and social theory, The Human Condition is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was one of the leading social theorists in the United States. Her Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy and Love and Saint Augustine are also published by the University of Chicago Press.
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Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
Walter Benjamin was one of the most original cultural critics of the twentieth century. Illuminations includes his views on Kafka, with whom he felt a close personal affinity; his studies on Baudelaire and Proust; and his essays on Leskov and on Brecht's Epic Theater. Also included are his penetrating study "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," an enlightening discussion of translation as a literary mode, and Benjamin's theses on the philosophy of history.

Hannah Arendt selected the essays for this volume and introduces them with a classic essay about Benjamin's life in dark times. Also included is a new preface by Leon Wieseltier that explores Benjamin's continued relevance for our times.
release date: Sep 26, 2006
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On Revolution (Penguin Classics)
A unique and fascinating look at violent political change by one of the most profound thinkers of the twentieth century and the author of Eichmann in Jerusalem and The Origins of Totalitarianism
 
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.
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Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics; Civil Disobedience; On Violence; Thoughts on Politics and Revolution
A collection of studies in which Arendt, from the standpoint of a political philosopher, views the crises of the 1960s and early 1970s as challenges to the american form of government. Index.
release date: Mar 16, 1981
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The Life of the Mind (Combined 2 Volumes in 1) (Vols 1&2)
The author’s final work, presented in a one-volume edition, is a rich, challenging analysis of man’s mental activity, considered in terms of thinking, willing, and judging. Edited by Mary McCarthy; Indices.
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release date: Jul 29, 2003
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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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release date: Sep 26, 2006
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Between Past and Future (Penguin Classics)
From the author of Eichmann in Jerusalem and The Origins of Totalitarianism, “a book to think with through the political impasses and cultural confusions of our day” (Harper’s Magazine)
 
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.
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