Hannah Arendt: a biographical and political introduction

Owens, Patricia (2005) Hannah Arendt: a biographical and political introduction. In: Lang, A and Williams, J (eds.) Hannah Arendt and International Relations: Reading across the Lines. The Palgrave Macmillan History of International Thought . Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 27-40. ISBN 9781403967831

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Abstract

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...

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Patricia Owens
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:26
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2012 13:11
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12425
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