“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.
The great twentieth-century political philosopher examines how Hitler and Stalin gained and maintained power, and the nature of totalitarian states. In the final volume of her classic work The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt focuses on the two genuine forms of the totalitarian state in modern history: the dictatorships of Bolshevism after 1930 and of National Socialism after 1938. Identifying terror as the very essence of this form of government, she discusses the transformation of classes into masses and the use of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world—and in her brilliant concluding chapter, she analyzes the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination. “The most original and profound—therefore the most valuable—political theoretician of our times.” —Dwight Macdonald, The New Leader
Author: Hannah Arendt
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2017-04-20
Genre: Political Science
'How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times' Washington Post Hannah Arendt's chilling analysis of the conditions that led to the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes is a warning from history about the fragility of freedom, exploring how propaganda, scapegoats, terror and political isolation all aided the slide towards total domination. 'A non-fiction bookend to Nineteen Eighty-Four' The New York Times 'The political theorist who wrote about the Nazis and the 'banality of evil' has become a surprise bestseller' Guardian
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This remarkable book has been foremost wherever the characteristics and problems of the twentieth century were discussed. Uncovering the roots of totalitarianism, Dr. Arendt evokes the subterranean stream of nineteenth-century European history in which totalitarian elements first appeared, before the twentieth-century decline of the nation-state and the disintegration of class society brought about their crystallization into total domination resting on mass support. Beginning with a study of anti-semitism, and after presenting the Dreyfus Affair, she goes on to a study of imperialism and demonstrates how the interplay of racism, power-seeking, and economic developments generate autonomous processes that are limitless and aimless. The climax of the book is the last third, which deals with the institutions, organizations, and functioning of totalitarian movements and governments, with the attraction they exerted on the European masses as well as on the intellectual elite. -- Form publisher's description.
Las figuras sobre las que Hannah Arendt reflexiona en este libro tienen en común tan sólo la época que les tocó vivir. ¿Cuáles fueron las respuestas de Karl Jaspers, Juan XXIII, Isak Dinesen, Walter Benjamin, Hermann Broch o Bertolt Brecht, entre otros, a las condiciones externas del mundo durante la primera mitad del siglo xx, con sus catástrofes políticas, sus desastres morales y su sorprendente desarrollo en las artes y las ciencias?. Hannah Arendt se acerca a estos bien conocidos personajes guiándose por su concepción filosófica acerca de lo que puede y debe saber un ser humano. No hay que hurgar en las intimidades de las personas para captar los rasgos que los hacen únicos e inmortales. Con una excepcional capacidad de percepción de las cualidades humanas más inconfundibles y profundas, Arendt señala su manera de estar presentes en el mundo, de mostrarse a la luz pública, ya sea en sus obras o sus actos. Nos muestra con precisión y sin eufemismos en qué medida estas figuras lucharon, se tambalearon y tropezaron debido a sus circunstancias y su demonio particular, para ser, después de todo y a veces a pesar de ellos, fieles a sí mismos y a sus aspiraciones más profundas.
Author: Peter Drucker
Release Date: 2017-09-08
Genre: Political Science
In The End of Economic Man, long recognized as a cornerstone work, Peter F. Drucker explains and interprets fascism and Nazism as fundamental revolutions. In some ways, this book anticipated by more than a decade the existentialism that came to dominate the European political mood in the postwar period. Drucker provides a special addition to the massive literature on existentialism and alienation since World War II. The End of Economic Man is a social and political effort to explain the subjective consequences of the social upheavals caused by warfare. Drucker concentrates on one specific historical event: the breakdown of the social and political structure of Europe which culminated in the rise of Nazi totalitarianism to mastery over Europe. He explains the tragedy of Europe as the loss of political faith, resulting from the political alienation of the European masses. The End of Economic Man is a book of great social import. It shows not only what might have helped the older generation avert the catastrophe of Nazism, but also how today's generation can prevent another such catastrophe. This work will be of special interest to political scientists, intellectual historians, and sociologists. The book was singled out for praise on both sides of the Atlantic, and is considered by the author to be his most prescient effort in social theory.
Author: Bernard J. Bergen
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 1998
This highly original book is the first to explore the political and philosophical consequences of Hannah Arendt's concept of 'the banality of evil, ' a term she used to describe Adolph Eichmann, architect of the Nazi 'final solution.' According to Bernard J. Bergen, the questions that preoccupied Arendt were the meaning and significance of the Nazi genocide to our modern times. As Bergen describes Arendt's struggle to understand 'the banality of evil, ' he shows how Arendt redefined the meaning of our most treasured political concepts and principles_freedom, society, identity, truth, equality, and reason_in light of the horrific events of the Holocaust. Arendt concluded that the banality of evil results from the failure of human beings to fully experience our common human characteristics_thought, will, and judgment_and that the exercise and expression of these attributes is the only chance we have to prevent a recurrence of the kind of terrible evil perpetrated by the Nazi
Author: Margaret Canovan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1994-06-24
Margaret Canovan argues in this book that much of the published work on Arendt has been flawed by serious misunderstandings, arising from a failure to see her work in its proper context. The author shows how such misunderstanding was possible, and offers a fundamental reinterpretation, drawing on Arendt's unpublished as well as her published work, which sheds new light on most areas of her thought.
After the publication of The Origins of Totalitarianism in 1951, Hannah Arendt undertook an investigation of Marxism, a subject that she had deliberately left out of her earlier work. Her inquiry into Marx’s philosophy led her to a critical examination of the entire tradition of Western political thought, from its origins in Plato and Aristotle to its culmination and conclusion in Marx. The Promise of Politics tells how Arendt came to understand the failure of that tradition to account for human action. From the time that Socrates was condemned to death by his fellow citizens, Arendt finds that philosophers have followed Plato in constructing political theories at the expense of political experiences, including the pre-philosophic Greek experience of beginning, the Roman experience of founding, and the Christian experience of forgiving. It is a fascinating, subtle, and original story, which bridges Arendt’s work from The Origins of Totalitarianism to The Human Condition, published in 1958. These writings, which deal with the conflict between philosophy and politics, have never before been gathered and published. The final and longer section of The Promise of Politics, titled “Introduction into Politics,” was written in German and is published here for the first time in English. This remarkable meditation on the modern prejudice against politics asks whether politics has any meaning at all anymore. Although written in the latter half of the 1950s, what Arendt says about the relation of politics to human freedom could hardly have greater relevance for our own time. When politics is considered as a means to an end that lies outside of itself, when force is used to “create” freedom, political principles vanish from the face of the earth. For Arendt, politics has no “end”; instead, it has at times been–and perhaps can be again–the never-ending endeavor of the great plurality of human beings to live together and share the earth in mutually guaranteed freedom. That is the promise of politics. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Elisabeth Young-Bruehl
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2008-10-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Upon publication of her 'field manual,' The Origins of Totalitarianism, in 1951, Hannah Arendt immediately gained recognition as a major political analyst. Over the next twenty-five years, she wrote ten more books and developed a set of ideas that profoundly influenced the way America and Europe addressed the central questions and dilemmas of World War II. In this concise book, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl introduces her mentor's work to twenty-first-century readers. Arendt's ideas, as much today as in her own lifetime, illuminate those issues that perplex us, such as totalitarianism, terrorism, globalization, war, and 'radical evil.' Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, who was Arendt's doctoral student in the early 1970s and who wrote the definitive biography of her mentor in 1982, now revisits Arendt's major works and seminal ideas. Young-Bruehl considers what Arendt's analysis of the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union can teach us about our own times, and how her revolutionary understanding of political action is connected to forgiveness and making promises for the future. The author also discusses The Life of the Mind, Arendt's unfinished meditation on how to think about thinking. Placed in the context of today's political landscape, Arendt's ideas take on a new immediacy and importance. They require our attention, Young-Bruehl shows, and continue to bring fresh truths to light.
Few thinkers have addressed the political horrors and ethical complexities of the twentieth century with the insight and passionate intellectual integrity of Hannah Arendt. She was irresistible drawn to the activity of understanding, in an effort to endow historic, political, and cultural events with meaning. Essays in Understanding assembles many of Arendt’s writings from the 1930s, 1940s, and into the 1950s. Included here are illuminating discussions of St. Augustine, existentialism, Kafka, and Kierkegaard: relatively early examinations of Nazism, responsibility and guilt, and the place of religion in the modern world: and her later investigations into the nature of totalitarianism that Arendt set down after The Origins of Totalitarianism was published in 1951. The body of work gathered in this volume gives us a remarkable portrait of Arendt’s developments as a thinker—and confirms why her ideas and judgments remain as provocative and seminal today as they were when she first set them down. From the Trade Paperback edition.