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Weimar in Partibus

Norman Stone, 1 July 1982

Hannah ArendtFor Love of the World 
by Elizabeth Young-Bruehl.
Yale, 563 pp., £12.95, May 1982, 0 300 02660 9
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Hannah Arendt and the Search for a New Political Philosophy 
by Bhikhu Parekh.
Macmillan, 198 pp., £20, October 1981, 0 333 30474 8
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... Hannah Arendt arrived in New York as a refugee from Europe in 1941. She was, there, at the centre of a world that included a great deal of ‘Vienna 1900’ and ‘Berlin 1930’. Her friends, whom she referred to as ‘the tribe’ – ‘the clan’ would have been a better translation – included Alma Mahler, the novelist Hermann Broch, whose essay, Hofmannsthal und seine Zeit, is the best short evocation of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna there is, and his mistress, the wife of the art-historian Meier-Graefe ...

Thinking without a Banister

James Miller, 19 October 1995

Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger 
by Elzbieta Ettinger.
Yale, 139 pp., £10.95, October 1995, 0 300 06407 1
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Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954: Uncollected and Unpublished Works 
by Hannah Arendt, edited by Jerome Kohn.
Harcourt Brace, 458 pp., $39.95, May 1994, 0 15 172817 8
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Hannah ArendtA Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought 
by Margaret Canovan.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £12.95, September 1995, 0 521 47773 5
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Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy 
edited by Carol Brightman.
Secker, 412 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 436 20251 4
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Hannah Arendt/Karl Jaspers: Correspondence, 1926-1969 
edited by Lotte Kohler and Hans Saner, translated by Robert and Rita Kimber.
Harcourt Brace, 821 pp., $49.95, November 1992, 0 15 107887 4
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... half a century after The Origins of Totalitarianism established her international reputation, Hannah Arendt looms larger than ever – as a philosopher, as a political theorist, as an exemplary analyst of history. Jürgen Habermas has expressed admiration for her, as have avowed Post-Modernists, who share her declared freedom from metaphysical ...

Diary

Joseph Epstein: A Thinker Thinks, 20 September 1984

... Reading along in Elizabeth Bruehl-Young’s biography of the philosopher Hannah Arendt I came across an item that astonished me. Every afternoon when at home in her West Side apartment in Manhattan, Hannah Arendt used to set herself out on the couch in her living-room and, for an hour or so, do nothing but think ...

Dragon-Slayers

Corey Robin: Careerism and Hannah Arendt, 4 January 2007

Why Arendt Matters 
by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl.
Yale, 232 pp., £14.99, October 2006, 0 300 12044 3
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Hannah ArendtThe Jewish Writings 
edited by Jerome Kohn and Ron Feldman.
Schocken, 640 pp., $35, January 2007, 978 0 8052 4238 6
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Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil 
by Hannah Arendt.
Penguin, 336 pp., £10.99, December 2006, 0 14 303988 1
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... Last year marked the centenary of Hannah Arendt’s birth. From Slovenia to Waco, conferences, readings and exhibitions were convened in her honour. This month, Schocken Books is issuing a new collection of her writings, its fifth publication of her work in four years. Penguin has reissued On Revolution, Eichmann in Jerusalem and Between Past and Future ...

I Love You Still

Russell Jacoby, 9 February 1995

Intellectuals in Exile: Refugee Scholars and the New School for Social Research 
by Claus-Dieter Krohn, translated by Rita Kimber and Robert Kimber.
Massachusetts, 255 pp., $15.95, July 1994, 0 87023 864 7
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... and reach. It is impossible to conceive of American political thought without Hans Morgenthau, Hannah Arendt or Leo Strauss; American psychoanalysis without Erik Erikson, Bruno Bettelheim or Heinz Hartmann; American publishing without Kurt Wolff or Theodore Schocken; architecture without Walter Gropius; art history without Erwin Panofsky; mathematics ...

‘I merely belong to them’

Judith Butler: Hannah Arendt, 10 May 2007

The Jewish Writings 
by Hannah Arendt, edited by Jerome Kohn and Ron Feldman.
Schocken, 559 pp., $35, March 2007, 978 0 8052 4238 6
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... You know the left think that I am conservative,’ Hannah Arendt once said, ‘and the conservatives think I am left or I am a maverick or God knows what. And I must say that I couldn’t care less. I don’t think the real questions of this century get any kind of illumination by this kind of thing.’ The Jewish Writings make the matter of her political affiliation no less easy to settle ...

Why are we bad?

Paul Seabright, 15 November 1984

Wickedness: A Philosophical Essay 
by Mary Midgley.
Routledge, 224 pp., £14.95, September 1984, 9780710097590
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... claim: one phrase about ‘the spirit of our age’ and the citation of an equally empty remark by Hannah Arendt will do for now. Generally the argument works by highlighting two extreme points of view and then pointing out, as though no one had thought of it before, that the truth probably lies somewhere in between. ‘Rashness,’ we are told, ‘is, in ...

Performing Seals

Christopher Hitchens: The PR Crowd, 10 August 2000

Partisans: Marriage, Politics and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals 
by David Laskin.
Simon and Schuster, 319 pp., $26, January 2000, 0 684 81565 6
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... out the etiolated remnant of PR. As far as I know, theirs was a separation on principled grounds. Hannah Arendt’s beloved husband Heinrich Blucher was unfaithful, but not with anyone of whom we’ve all heard. One problem with keyhole vision, then, is the want of perspective. Where the perspective is not too constricted, it is too broad. Dawn Powell ...

Spying on Writers

Christian Lorentzen, 11 October 2018

... to the pinkos by reading The Martian Chronicles in book club. The FBI was made aware of Hannah Arendt by a concerned parent of a Berkeley undergraduate whom Arendt had encouraged to move to France to study with Paul Ricoeur. Daddy couldn’t confirm that Arendt was a ...

What a Ghost Wants

Michael Newton: Laurent Binet, 8 November 2012

HHhH 
by Laurent Binet, translated by Sam Taylor.
Harvill Secker, 336 pp., £16.99, May 2012, 978 1 84655 479 7
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... is enough. Jardie’s anonymous sacrifice raises questions that are central to Binet’s novel. Hannah Arendt returned several times to the Hellenic idea of the ‘shining deed’, an act that would grant a kind of immortality to the otherwise vanishing actor, in a world where only the gods and nature were immortal. Such deeds manifested the noblest ...

Children of the State

Yitzhak Laor: The Zionist manipulation of history, 26 January 2006

Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood 
by Idith Zertal.
Cambridge, 236 pp., £19.99, October 2005, 0 521 85096 7
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... kidnap Eichmann and to bring him to Israel for what Zertal and other Israeli scholars, following Hannah Arendt, have called a show trial. Holocaust memory is the safest, or at any rate the least controversial, Israeli collective experience, at a time when the rest of our national values are under threat. To be a good Israeli some forty years ago meant ...

Short Cuts

Jacqueline Rose: My Evening with Farage, 24 October 2013

... totalitarianism in which words almost instantly translate into deeds. I had forgotten how central Hannah Arendt was to his analysis, especially her description of Nazi propositions erasing time by immediately dissolving ‘every statement of fact into a declaration of purpose’. For Kermode there is a potentially dangerous affinity between literature ...

Short Cuts

Sadakat Kadri: Declared un-British, 18 June 2015

... with any who are poorly integrated. Their efforts are also wrong in principle. Citizenship, Hannah Arendt said, is ‘the right to have rights’. Citizenship isn’t a transient privilege, but an ancient status on which legal order is built. If individuals are accused of wrongdoing, they should be brought to trial, not issued a notice by the Home ...

Hitler at Heathrow

E.S. Shaffer, 7 August 1980

The Memoirs of Bridget Hitler 
edited by Michael Unger.
Duckworth, 192 pp., £4.95, March 1979, 0 7156 1356 1
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The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. 
by George Steiner.
Granta, 66 pp., £1.50
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Young Adolf 
by Beryl Bainbridge.
Duckworth, 174 pp., £6.95, November 1978, 0 7156 1323 5
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... summons us, but to the difficult awareness of how compromised even the inner voices of memory are. Hannah Arendt spoke of the ‘banality’ of evil; certainly its most everyday, common-or-garden aspect is the effacement of every kind of confidence in fact, the distortion not only of public but of private language. Thus Steiner’s Hitler defends himself ...

By the Roots

Jeremy Waldron, 9 February 1995

The Anatomy of Anti-Liberalism 
by Stephen Holmes.
Harvard, 330 pp., £23.95, November 1993, 0 674 03180 6
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... more important in poisoning the atmosphere against liberalism. Michael Oakeshott is one, Hannah Arendt another. The latter omission is particularly serious as it signals the lack of any consideration of the civic republican dimension of the modern movement against liberalism. True, a lot of what Holmes says in defence of liberalism, later in the ...

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