Hannah Arendt: The Best Introductory Resources

Lennox Johnson Resources

This page features a collection of the best resources on Hannah Arendt. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on Arendt. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about her.

To get started, simply choose one of the links below:

If you want a comprehensive overview of the philosophy of Arendt:

“Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) was one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. Born into a German-Jewish family, she was forced to leave Germany in 1933 and lived in Paris for the next eight years, working for a number of Jewish refugee organisations. In 1941 she immigrated to the United States and soon became part of a lively intellectual circle in New York. She held a number of academic positions at various American universities until her death in 1975. She is best known for two works that had a major impact both within and outside the academic community. The first, The Origins of Totalitarianism, published in 1951, was a study of the Nazi and Stalinist regimes that generated a wide-ranging debate on the nature and historical antecedents of the totalitarian phenomenon. The second, The Human Condition, published in 1958, was an original philosophical study that investigated the fundamental categories of the vita activa (labor, work, action). In addition to these two important works, Arendt published a number of influential essays on topics such as the nature of revolution, freedom, authority, tradition and the modern age. . . .”

If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:

If you’d prefer a video introduction:

If you prefer audio and podcasts:

Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on Hannah Arendt.

For more introductory philosophy resources and reading lists check out this collection of Resources and Reading Lists.