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Hannah Arendt: a biographical and political introduction

posted on 2023-06-07, 17:31 authored by Patricia Owens
There is much, perhaps too much, information about the life of Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), the German-American political theorist, teacher and writer. As probably the only women in the traditional philosophy 'canon', a leading member of the fashionable post-war New York circle of intellectuals and Jewish exiles, author of the hugely controversial report Eichmann in Jerusalem, and former lover of the philosopher and disgraced Nazi-sympathiser, Martin Heidegger (itself the subject of a less than stellar novel ), Arendt's life does appear to fascinate. She was also not averse to relating the lives of those she admired. Her published work includes a biography of Rahel Varnhagen, Jewish salon hostess in early 1800s Berlin, and a collection of essays written over fifteen years on figures such as Rosa Luxemburg, Isak Dinesen, Walter Benjamin, and Bertolt Brecht. 'The definitive biography, English style', she believed, 'is among the most admirable genres of historiography. Lengthy, thoroughly documented, heavily annotated, and generously splashed with quotations'. From the volumes of correspondence she left with her husband, Heinrich Blucher, Heidegger, friends and mentors, as well as excerpts from her mother's 'Unser Kind', the diary she kept of Hannah's early years, information on Arendt's life, loves, and hates is readily available and has itself been the subject of a definitive account. Commentaries on the private life and personal opinions of Hannah Arendt have spilled almost as much ink as her professional, public work...


Publication status

  • Published


Palgrave Macmillan

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Book title

Hannah Arendt and International Relations: Reading across the Lines




The Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought

Department affiliated with

  • International Relations Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes


A Lang, J Williams

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