In this Book

Thinking in Dark Times
summary
Hannah Arendt is one of the most important political theorists of the twentieth century. In her works, she grappled with the dark events of that century, probing the nature of power, authority, and evil, and seeking to confront totalitarian horrors on their own terms. This book focuses on how, against the professionalized discourses of theory, Arendt insists on the greater political importance of the ordinary activity of thinking. Indeed, she argues that the activity of thinking is the only reliable protection against the horrors that buffeted the last century. Its essays explore and enact that activity, which Arendt calls the habit of erecting obstacles to oversimplifications, compromises, and conventions.Most of the essays were written for a conference at Bard College celebrating the 100th anniversary of Arendt's birth. Arendt left her personal library and literary effects to Bard, and she is buried in the Bard College cemetery. Material from the Bard archive-such as a postcard to Arendt from Walter Benjamin or her annotation in her copy of Machiavelli's The Prince-and images from her life are interspersed with the essays in this volume.The volume will offer provocations and insights to Arendt scholars, students discovering Arendt's work, and general readers attracted to Arendt's vision of the importance of thinking in our own dark times.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Figures
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Editors’ Note
  2. p. xi
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  1. Introduction: Thinking in Dark Times
  2. pp. 3-14
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  1. Part I: Politics
  2. pp. 15-69
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  1. Reflections on Antisemitism
  2. pp. 17-27
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  1. Fiction as Poison
  2. pp. 29-42
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  1. A Discriminating Politics
  2. pp. 43-54
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  1. Hannah Arendt’s Political Engagements
  2. pp. 55-62
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  1. What Does It Mean to Think About Politics?
  2. pp. 63-69
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  1. Part II: Lying and Politics
  2. pp. 71-92
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  1. A Lying World Order: Political Deception and the Threat of Totalitarianism
  2. pp. 73-78
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  1. Lying and History
  2. pp. 79-92
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  1. Part III: Citizenship
  2. p. 93
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  1. The Experience of Action
  2. pp. 95-102
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  1. Dissent in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Civil Disobedience and Constitutional Patriotism
  2. pp. 105-114
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  1. Promising and Civil Disobedience: Arendt's Political Modernism
  2. pp. 115-127
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  1. Part IV: Evil and Eichmann in Jerusalem
  2. pp. 129-157
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  1. Is Evil Banal? A Misleading Question
  2. pp. 131-138
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  1. Banality and Cleverness: Eichmann in Jerusalem Revisited
  2. pp. 139-144
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  1. Judging the Events of Our Time
  2. pp. 145-152
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  1. Arendt’s Banality of Evil Thesis and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
  2. pp. 153-157
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  1. Part V: Judaism and Cosmopolitanism
  2. pp. 159-217
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  1. Liberating the Pariah: Politics, the Jews, and Hannah Arendt
  2. pp. 161-178
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  1. Hannah Arendt’s Jewish Experience: Thinking, Acting, Judging
  2. pp. 179-196
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  1. The Pariah as Rebel: Hannah Arendt's Jewish Writings
  2. pp. 197-206
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  1. Hannah Arendt’s Jewish Identity
  2. pp. 207-212
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  1. Jewish to the Core
  2. pp. 213-217
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  1. Part VI: Thinking in Dark Times
  2. pp. 219-245
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  1. Thinking Big in Dark Times
  2. pp. 221-228
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  1. Crimes of Action, Crimes of Thought: Arendt on Reconciliation, Forgiveness, and Judgment
  2. pp. 229-236
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  1. Solitude and the Activity of Thinking
  2. pp. 237-245
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  1. Part VII: Sites of Memory
  2. p. 247
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  1. Exile Readings: Hannah Arendt's Library
  2. pp. 249-260
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  1. Remembering Hannah: An Interview with Jack Blum
  2. pp. 261-268
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  1. My Hannah Arendt Project
  2. pp. 269-272
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 273-292
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 293-294
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 295-299
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