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The Origins of Totalitarianism: Introduction by Samantha Power

by

The Origins of Totalitarianism: Introduction by Samantha Power Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Origins of Totalitarianism is an indispensable book for understanding the frightful barbarity of the twentieth century. Suspicious of the inevitability so often imposed by hindsight, Hannah Arendt was not interested in detailing the causes that produced totalitarianism. Nothing in the nineteenth century—indeed, nothing in human history—could have prepared us for the idea of political domination achieved by organizing the infinite plurality and differentiation of human beings as if all humanity were just one individual. Arendt believed that such a development marked a grotesque departure from all that had come before.

 

In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt sought to provide an historical account of the forces that crystallized into totalitarianism: The ebb and flow of nineteenth-century anti-Semitism (she deemed the Dreyfus Affair a dress rehearsal for the Final Solution) and he rise of European imperialism, accompanied by the invention of racism as the only possible rationalization for it. For Arendt, totalitarianism was a form of governance that eliminated the very possibility of political action. Totalitarian leaders attract both mobs and elites, take advantage of the unthinkability of their atrocities, target “objective enemies” (classes of people who are liquidated simply because of their group membership), use terror to create loyalty, rely on concentration camps, and are obsessive in their pursuit of global primacy. But even more presciently, Arendt understood that totalitarian solutions could well survive the demise of totalitarian regimes.

 

The Origins of Totalitarianism remains as essential a book for understanding our times as it was when it first appeared more than fifty years ago.

About the Author

HANNAH ARENDT was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1906, fled to Paris in 1933, and came to the United States after the outbreak of World War II. She was the editorial director of Schocken Books from 1946 to 1948. She taught at Berkeley, Princeton, the University of Chicago, and the New School for Social Research. Among her other books are The Human Condition, On Revolution, Essays in Understanding, The Jewish Writings, The Promise of Politics, Responsibility and Judgment, and The Life of the Mind. Arendt died in 1975.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805242256
Author:
Arendt, Hannah
Publisher:
Schocken Books Inc
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Antisemitism
Subject:
History & Theory - Radical Thought
Subject:
Totalitarianism
Subject:
Imperialism
Subject:
History & Theory - General
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Fascism & Totalitarianism
Subject:
Politics - General
Series Volume:
2194
Publication Date:
20040331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
704
Dimensions:
9.53 x 6.4 x 1.5 in 2.25 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Reference » Writing » General

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