Between Past and Future

By Hannah Arendt, Jerome Kohn,

Book cover of Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought

Book description

From the author of Eichmann in Jerusalem and The Origins of Totalitarianism, “a book to think with through the political impasses and cultural confusions of our day” (Harper’s Magazine)
 
Hannah Arendt’s insightful observations of the modern world, based on a profound knowledge of the past, constitute an impassioned contribution to…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Between Past and Future as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Hannah Arendt is the most important political thinker of the post-totalitarian moment. While her 1951 Origins of Totalitarianism is more well-known and became a bestseller again after the election of President Donald Trump, in this collection of essays she lays out her ideas about the way that the past helps us to locate ourselves in the present by imagining and reimagining our futures. This book was hugely influential for me during my graduate studies at Yale. Unlike so many political theorists, Arendt is also a wonderfully accessible and engaging writer.

From Peter's list on memory and postwar Europe.

Hannah Arendt is a political theorist who is quite insightful. She always had a certain fascination with men and women of action, the ones who could shape history by interacting with other people. As she put it in one of her essays, “The Greeks always used such metaphors as flute-playing, dancing, healing, and seafaring to distinguish political from other activities…Political institutions, no matter how well or how badly designed, depend for continued existence upon acting men; their conservation is achieved by the same means that brought them into being.” 

At a time when we see true heroes in Ukraine, it…

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