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Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, Second Edition

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl
Copyright Date: 2004
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 620
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  • Book Info
    Hannah Arendt
    Book Description:

    This highly acclaimed, prize-winning biography of one of the foremost political philosophers of the twentieth century is here reissued in a trade paperback edition for a new generation of readers. In a new preface the author offers an account of writings by and about Arendt that have appeared since the book's 1982 publication, providing a reassessment of her subject's life and achievement.

    Praise for the earlier edition:

    "Both a personal and an intellectual biography . . . It represents biography at its best."-Peter Berger, front page,The New York Times Book Review

    "A story of surprising drama . . . . At last, we can see Arendt whole."-Jim Miller,Newsweek"Indispensable to anyone interested in the life, the thought, or . . . the example of Hannah Arendt."-Mark Feeney,Boston Globe

    "An adventure story that moves from pre-Nazi Germany to fame in the United States, and . . . a study of the influences that shaped a sharp political awareness."-Richmond (Va.)Times-Dispatch

    Cover drawing by David Schorr

    eISBN: 978-0-300-14592-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface to the Second Edition
    (pp. ix-xxxvi)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xxxvii-l)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. li-liv)
  7. PART 1: 1906–1933

    • [PART 1: Introduction]
      (pp. 1-4)

      DURING THE YEARS SHE LIVED IN AMERICA, HANNAH Arendt seldom spoke about her childhood. Long before the last of her relatives had left the family’s home in Königsberg, East Prussia, and the city had been destroyed by bombs and rebuilt as Kaliningrad, USSR, she had divided her life into “Then” and “Now” several times. With each division, the first Then, childhood, became a more secret, private matter. When she was eighteen and a student of theology at Marburg University, she made her temporal divisions in the poetic language of her teacher Martin Heidegger: “No longer” and “Not yet.” As she...

    • CHAPTER 1 Unser Kind (1906–1924)
      (pp. 5-41)

      Both sets of Hannah Arendt’s grandparents, the Arendts and the Cohns, had raised their families in Königsberg, the capital of East Prussia, a city whose foundations dated from the thirteenth century. First built by the Teutonic Order, a military and religious organization dating from the time of the Crusades, Königsberg was for a time the residence of the Order’s Grand Master. In the sixteenth century, it became the residence of the dukes of Prussia, whose castle overlooking a lake dominated the center of the city. The lively but peaceful provincial capital was threatened with destruction during the First World War,...

    • CHAPTER 2 The Shadows (1924–1929)
      (pp. 42-76)

      Hannah Arendt’s university years, from 1924 to 1929, were exactly the years of greatest stability for the troubled Weimar Republic. By the summer of 1924 the government’s program of economic stabilization had brought to a temporary end the worst period of inflation, and a change of government in financially troubled France had reduced the Germans’ feeling of being surrounded by vindictive extortionists. But just as this feeling was abating, the provisions of the Dawes Plan were made known. The plan provided an Allied loan for the continuation of the German economic recovery and a scheme for reparations payments intended to...

    • CHAPTER 3 The Life of a Jewess (1929–1933)
      (pp. 77-110)

      In January 1929 Hannah Arendt attended a masquerade ball in Berlin, abal de Parissponsored for fund-raising by a group of Marxists who were trying to keep a small political magazine afloat. The dance was held at the Museum of Ethnology, and the guests came in suitably ethnological costumes—Hannah Arendt as an Arab harem girl. She spent the evening with the young Jewish philosopher Günther Stern, whom she had not seen since he attended Heidegger’s 1925 Marburg seminar as a postdoctoral student.

      After a month Hannah Arendt and Günther Stern began to live together, first in Berlin and...

    • Illustrations
      (pp. None)
  8. PART 2: 1933–1951

    • [PART 2: Introduction]
      (pp. 111-114)

      FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS, HANNAH ARENDT WAS A “STATEless person.” But this period when she had no political rights—between her flight from Nazi Germany in 1933 and her receipt of American citizenship in 1951—was her most active politically. In Paris, where she worked for organizations that helped Jewish refugees emigrate to Palestine and supplied legal aid to anti-Fascists, she left behind the apolitical intellectuality of her university circles. She found a peer group that included artists and workers, Jews and non-Jews, activists and pariahs; German was their language, but they were cosmopolitan in vision. With this group, which included...

    • CHAPTER 4 Stateless Persons (1933–1941)
      (pp. 115-163)

      After arranging for her mother’s safe return to Königsberg, Hannah Arendt went to Paris in the fall of 1933 and rejoined Günther Stern. They lived together, had common friends and activities, but their marriage was never restored. Companionship and the difficult practical business of securing food and lodging continued to bind them; and such bonds, between people who hardly knew what to expect from one day to the next at the hands of “that old trickster, World-History,” were important to them both. To friends like Hans Jonas, who visited them shortly after the Stavisky scandals of 1934, they still presented...

    • CHAPTER 5 Loyalty Is the Sign of Truth (1941–1948)
      (pp. 164-211)

      In May 1941, the Blüchers arrived in New York City. With the twenty-five dollars in their possession and a seventy-dollar monthly stipend from the Zionist Organization of America, they rented two small, semi-furnished rooms at 317 West 95th Street and prepared them for Martha Arendt’s arrival. When the S.S.Muzinhodocked on 21 June, they found Martha surrounded by a group of refugee children from the homes near Paris that Hannah Arendt had visited as Madame de Rothschild’s secretary. Like the children, Martha Arendt was thin, haggard, exhausted from a year of hiding out in southern France, and, like the...

    • CHAPTER 6 A Private Face in Public Life (1948–1951)
      (pp. 212-258)

      The Blüchers were at Salo Baron’s country house in Connecticut when the news that Paris had been liberated came over the radio. They celebrated 8 May 1945 with champagne and hoped that a new life would come to the country that Hannah Arendt admitted was the only one she felt homesick for in America. Letters from France had been few and far between in the last two years of the war, and Arendt had waited eagerly for what she always calledgute Nachrichten, good reports, of reassembled families and safe returns to Paris. A good report had come from Anne...

  9. PART 3: 1951–1965

    • [PART 3: Introduction]
      (pp. 259-262)

      “THE WORLD AND THE PEOPLE WHO INHABIT IT ARE NOT the same. The world lies in between people,”¹ wrote Hannah Arendt, fully aware that a natural, untroubled “in-between” with one’s fellows had not been considered since Goethe’s time as the mark of great thinkers, or even as a condition greatly desired by them. To modern people, Lessing’s model man of genius—Sein glücklicher Geschmack ist der Geschmack der Welt(“his felicitous taste is the world’s taste”)—is an unknown. Even Lessing himself could not find a serene relation with the world such as the one that Goethe had attained. “His...

    • CHAPTER 7 Being at Home in the World (1951–1961)
      (pp. 263-327)

      Hannah Arendt found Paris delightful in the spring of 1952, “warm, everywhere green trees.” “The city is more beautiful than ever,” she wrote to Blücher, inspiring in him a great homesickness for their first home together. A remarkably effective premier, Antoine Pinay, was beginning to put the Fourth Republic into economic order, and a feeling of confidence was apparent: “The French are once again happy, entirely different than two years ago.”¹ The city and its people relieved Arendt of much of the dark foreboding about theWeltlage(world situation) she had lived with during the year following the publication of...

    • CHAPTER 8 Cura Posterior: Eichmann in Jerusalem (1961–1965)
      (pp. 328-378)

      In the summer of 1960, Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Blücher vacationed at a rambling Swiss-style boardinghouse in the Catskills, several miles from their usual haunt, the Chestnut Lawn House in Palenville, New York. Arendt spent her days at her worktable and then joined Blücher and several of their émigré friends for swimming or chess, the evening meal, and expeditions to the local bar and pool parlor. Their discussions often returned to a startling series of reports in theNew York Times:Adolf Eichmann had been kidnapped by Israeli agents in Argentina on 24 May; Israel and Argentina had quarreled over...

  10. PART 4: 1965–1975

    • [PART 4: Introduction]
      (pp. 379-382)

      HANNAH ARENDT HAD TO LEARN TO LIVE WITH THE reputationEichmann in Jerusalembrought her. Praise, condemnation, and calumny came through the mail and the media. She was a public figure in the 1960s, despite her wishes, and she was preoccupied with more teaching responsibilities than ever, at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and, after 1967, at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. From 1963 through 1971, when she was an essayist rather than a book writer, her published work was both more directly topical—because she wanted to write about the changing...

    • CHAPTER 9 America in Dark Times (1965–1970)
      (pp. 383-437)

      While Hannah Arendt was trying to think her way toward a “political morals,” her adopted country entered years of political and moral confusion as drastic as any in the postwar period. Many Americans in and around the New Left thought they were witnessing a reenactment of the decline of the Weimar Republic or France between the wars. Arendt resisted the analogy. In the mid-1960s, she thought that the American military presence in Vietnam would remain limited; she expected early withdrawal of troops, assuming that informed public opinion, which she viewed as solidly against the war, would prevail. In April 1965,...

    • CHAPTER 10 No Longer and Not Yet: The Life of the Mind (1970–1975)
      (pp. 438-474)

      In the five years she lived after Heinrich Blücher’s death, Hannah Arendt never lost her ardent interest in the political realm. The summer after his death, she wrote a long analysis of thePentagon Papers, “Lying in Politics”; during the summer before her own death, she followed the revolution in Portugal with the same intensity she had given twenty years earlier to the revolution in Hungary. But her mood was different. She longed for peace and quiet. Often she invoked the words that had been so appropriately spoken at Heinrich Blücher’s memorial service: “We must go now, I to die,...

  11. APPENDIX 1: The Cohns and the Arendts of Königsberg
    (pp. 475-477)
  12. APPENDIX 2: German Texts of Arendt’s Poems
    (pp. 478-489)
  13. APPENDIX 3: Arendt’s Doctoral Dissertation: A Synopsis
    (pp. 490-500)
  14. Notes
    (pp. 501-534)
  15. Chronological Bibliography of the Works of Hannah Arendt
    (pp. 535-548)
  16. Index
    (pp. 549-563)