Download e-book for iPad: Arendt and America by Richard H. King

By Richard H. King

ISBN-10: 022631149X

ISBN-13: 9780226311494

German-Jewish political thinker Hannah Arendt (1906–75) fled from the Nazis to ny in 1941, and through the following thirty years in the United States she wrote her best-known and so much influential works, equivalent to The Human , The Origins of Totalitarianism, and On Revolution. but, even though a considerable part of her oeuvre used to be written in the USA, no longer Europe, not anyone has without delay thought of the impression of the United States on her thought—until now. In Arendt and America, historian Richard H. King argues that whereas all of Arendt’s paintings was once haunted through her adventure of totalitarianism, it was once merely in her followed fatherland that she was once in a position to formulate the belief of the trendy republic instead to totalitarian rule.
Situating Arendt in the context of U.S. highbrow, political, and social historical past, King finds how Arendt constructed a fascination with the political considered the Founding Fathers. King additionally re-creates her highbrow exchanges with American associates and co-workers, reminiscent of Dwight Macdonald and Mary McCarthy, and indicates how her vigorous correspondence with sociologist David Riesman helped her comprehend smooth American tradition and society. within the final component to Arendt and America, King units out the context within which the Eichmann controversy happened and follows the controversy approximately “the banality of evil” that has endured ever for the reason that.  As King exhibits, Arendt’s paintings, despite concentration, used to be formed through postwar American concept, tradition, and politics, together with the Civil Rights flow and the chilly War.

For Arendt, the U.S. used to be even more than a safe haven from Nazi Germany; it used to be a stimulus to reconsider the political, moral, and old traditions of human tradition. This authoritative mixture of highbrow heritage and biography bargains a distinct process for brooding about the impression of the United States on Arendt’s rules and likewise the impact of her rules on American thought.

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She died unexpectedly in late 1975, still working on her The Life of the Mind and still addressing the complexities of contemporary affairs. Conclusion: Again, Eichmann In the conclusion, I return after five decades to look at the present-day American reactions to Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem triggered by the re- 24 Introduction lease of the feature-length biopic Hannah Arendt directed by Margarethe von Trotta in 2012. There has been something repetitiously familiar about the recent public debate about Arendt and the film.

9 Still, the opposition between those leaders who acted on the promptings of conscience and those who took into account the implications and impact of their decisions bore a certain resemblance to Arendt’s distinction between guilt and responsibility (and, later, “morality” and “politics”). Because she thought what had happened during the war was a culmination of a decisive break, or rupture, with the traditions of the West, Arendt also assumed that she had to learn to “think without bannisters” (Denken ohne Geländer) in the area of ethics, too.

Never an academic (with the exception of visiting positions later in his life), he wrote literary and especially film criticism for Partisan Review and later Esquire, while also dominating the postwar mass culture debate among American intellectuals. After serving on the editorial board 25 26 Chapter 1 of Partisan Review from 1937 to 1943, he and his wife Nancy founded the journal Politics, which appeared monthly for several years but eventually ran out of gas in 1949. While Arendt’s style reflected the high seriousness of the European intellectual, Macdonald’s prose was marked by considerable wit, as well as clarity and lucidity.

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