Hannah Arendt's Response to the Crisis of her Times
Hannah Arendt's contributions to 20th-century political thought resist easy categorization, even as they continue to yield up their prescient insights and inspire a new generation of admirers. There are few thinkers in Western history who share Arendt's unwavering sense for the political. She is perhaps the quintessential political thinker of the modern age. Yet, it was not a romantic attachment to antiquity and the polis-life that informed her judgements about what it means to be political. Rather, it was her response to the 20th-century phenomenon of 'total domination' that shaped her thought and, in various ways, confronted her in life. Arendt steadfastly resisted the manifold pathologies of her time, composing an extended and often harrowing meditation on their horrors. Nevertheless, in her defiance and her unrelenting composure, Arendt reminded us that beginnings are without end, and that each new beginning 'is guaranteed by each new birth; it is indeed every man.'
Publication Date: 12/31/2009