This page features a collection of the best resources on Hannah Arendt. To get started, simply choose the type of resource that best suits your learning style.
If you want a comprehensive overview of the philosophy of Arendt:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Hannah Arendt. However, you should keep in mind that the Stanford Encyclopedia in often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 16,000 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces 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)….”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
- Watch Roger Berkowitz discuss Hannah Arendt [5:35 mins]
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
While these resources are a great starting point, 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.
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