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The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: Why Hannah Arendt? Chapter 2 The Pariah and Her Shadow: Hannah Arendt's Biography of Rahel Varnhagen Chapter 3 Jewish Politics and German "Existenz Philosophy": The Sources of Hannah Arendt's Thought Chapter 4 The Destruction of the Public Sphere and the Emergence of Totalitarianism Chapter 5 The Dialogue With Martin Heidegger: Arendt's Ontology of The Human Condition Chapter 6 The Art of Making and Subverting Distinctions: With Arendt, Contra Arendt Chapter 7 From the Problem of Judgment to the Public Sphere: Rethinking Hannah Arendt's Political Theory

About the Author

Seyla Benhabib is Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University, and director of the Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics.

Reviews

It is difficult to do justice to the rich texture of Benhabib's argument and interpretation, which is a magisterial dialectic between modernity and existentialism, reformism and utopianism, and fundamentalism and perspectivalism. Benhabib's book remains one of the most stimulating of the recent spate of books on Arendt. * Women's Philosophy Review *
Benhabib's discussions. . . reflect a meticulous scholarship and a deep sensitivity to the texts which is a pleasure to read. * Political Studies Review *
On the now quite long shelf of Hannah Arendt studies, only a few matter. This is one. -- Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Haverford College; author of Anna Freud: A Biography
A brillant, historically sensitive and deeply sympathetic but not at all uncritical account of the entire range of Arendt's thought. It weaves its way through Arendt's personal experiences, philosophical influences, and cultural contexts with remarkable subtlety and ease. Few books on Arendt offer a more vivid and reliable account of the unity of her life and thought. -- Bhikhu Parekh, University of Westminster
Seyla Benhabib's remarkable and nuanced book is the first to give Hannah Arendt's ambivalent relationship to modernity the complex and critical assessment it deserves. Written with force and clarity, this study is indispensable for any serious encounter with Arendt's thought. -- Anson Rabinbach, Princeton University
A strikingly original interpretation of Hannah Arendt that brings into the foreground the significance of Arendt's biography of Rahel Varnhagen, Arendt's concern with Jewish politics, and her attempt to understand the emergence of totalitarianism. This provides the context for a fresh reading of The Human Condition and The Life of the Mind, as well as the complex relation between Arendt and Heidegger. Anyone interested in the recent resurgence of international interest in Arendt and her relevance for contemporary political thought will find Seyla Benhabib's comprehensive and judicious analysis invaluable. -- Richard J. Bernstein, Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research
Benhabib is an excellent guide to the uninitiated, offering context, central themes, and concise yet sophisticated philosophical analysis in accessible prose. * Ethics: An International Journal of Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy *
Benhabib's great homage, which makes us familiar with Arendt's thought, has a paradoxical effect: one learns to appreciate the distance which is expressed in this sovereign interpretation. One will not be able to come closer to the philosophical hedgerose, Hannah Arendt * Die Zeit *

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