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The Companion to Hannah Arendt


Hannah Arendt was one of the foremost political thinkers of the twentieth century, and her particular interests have made her one of the most frequently cited thinkers of our time. This volume examines the primary themes of her multi-faceted work, from her theory of totalitarianism and her controversial idea of the "banality of evil" to her classic studies of political action and her final reflections on judgment and the life of the mind. Each essay examines the political, philosophical, and historical concerns that shaped Arendt's thought.




Introduction: The development of Arendt's political thought Dana Villa

Part I. Totalitarianism and Nationalism:

  1. Arendt's theory of totalitarianism: a reassessment Margaret Canovan
  2. Arendt and nationalism Ronald Beiner

Part II. Political Evil and the Holocaust:

  1. Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem Seyla Benhabib
  2. Arendt and the Holocaust Mary Dietz; Part III. Freedom and Political Action:
  3. Freedom: the priority of the political Jerome Kohn
  4. Political action: its nature and advantages George Kateb

Part IV. Arendt and the Ancients:

  1. Arendt's Hellenism J. Peter Euben
  2. Athens and Rome Jacques Taminiaux
  3. Equality and elitism in Arendt Hauke Brunkhorst

Part V. Revolution and Constitution:

  1. Arendt's constitutional politics Jeremy Waldron
  2. Arendt on revolution Albrecht Wellmer

Part VI. Judgment, Philosophy, and Thinking:

  1. Arendt's theory of judgment Maurizio Passerin d'Entreves
  2. Arendt on philosophy and politics Frederick M. Dolan
  3. Arendt on thinking Richard J. Bernstein




"The Companion is an excellent collection of essays by a first-rate group of authors. The quality of writing and editing is high, Dana Villa's introduction skillfully sketchs the evolution of Arendt's ideas, and the essays shed light - in some cases, unfamiliar light - on several vexed questions Arendt's writing raises." Ethics


" outstanding group of new essays....All the essays are interesting, and some are major contributions to political thinking....This is a must purchase for any serious library." Choice


"This is an excellent collection of essays about the political thought of Hannah Arendt. Its editor, Dana Villa, has assembled a first-rate group of scholars, many of whom are already well known for their contributions to Arendt studies. The volume is distinguished by the high quality of its contributions and by the effort of so many of its contributors to go beyond standard lines of exegesis to raise interesting questions and to press the boundaries of Arendt commentary." American Political Science Review

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Tags: Arendt, political, Hannah, examines, thinkers, Companion