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Compiled, edited, and briefly annotated by Hannah Arendt's longtime assistant Jerome Kohn (Political and Social Science/New School), this first of two projected volumes collecting Arendt's (1906-75) essays, addresses, and reviews up to 1954 contains two previously unpublished essays: ``On the Nature of Totalitarianism'' (1953) and ``The Concern with Politics in Contemporary European Philosophical Thought'' (1954). The personal, affectionate, and slightly apologetic introduction places these mostly fugitive pieces in context, but it is still difficult to see evidence here of the seminal role Arendt was to play in modern political theory, especially in analyzing the nature and dangers of totalitarianism and the mercurial nature of justice, which she explored in her popular, controversial, and, she believed, misunderstood Eichmann in Jerusalem. Kohn's collection opens with Arendt's defense of that study and some personal reminiscences expressed in a 1964 interview with G nter Gaus. The volume also offers commemorative addresses on St. Augustine, Kierkegaard, Kafka, and Karl Jaspers as well as re-evaluations of the forgotten, such as Friedrich von Gentz (1764-1832), and of the fleeting, the Berlin Salon from 1789-1806. There are book reviews ranging from the anachronistic 1933 German monograph On the Emancipation of Women and Karl Mannheim's heady Ideology and Utopia to Denis De Rougement's unlikely history of Satan, The Devil's Share. Included too are essays on the foreign-language press in America, on postwar Germany, fascism, communism, the atom bomb, McCarthyism, more characteristic ethical reflections on guilt and responsibility, and concise histories of French and German existentialism. Largely ``residual reflections,'' according to Kohn, these pieces appear to be quaint, irrelevant, and narrowly focused exercises, only faintly foreshadowing the ``bleak pessimism'' of the ``terrible century'' Arendt was later to dissect. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Hannah Arendt sometimes denied that she was a philosopher, but these essays tell us why she may be remembered as the quintessential philosopher of our time. A German Jewish woman, she grew up in a country rich in thought and culture but unable to protect simple human decency. She fled to America, where political life was still possible but intellectuals were regarded as performers in a mental circus--entertaining but of little ultimate importance. To bring the two together, Arendt defined herself as a political theorist. But these essays show the roots of her political theory deep in the Western past; St. Augustine and Kant above all are visible. Her essays light up issues--the emancipation of women, federalism in eastern Europe, and many others--in a way that often makes them seem as if they were written yesterday. Briefly the mistress of Heidegger (noted here as a "fox" who "built a trap as his burrow") and the lifelong friend of Jaspers, she never became the prisoner of any movement. None of these essays is technical, and the translations are lucid. This first of three volumes of her uncollected or unpublished essays should have a place in any sizable library.
- Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0151728178 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0032538
Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110151728178