Hannah Arendt is one of the most renowned political thinkers of the twentieth century, and her work has never been more relevant than it is today. Born in Germany in 1906, Arendt published her first book at the age of twenty-three, before turning away from the world of academic philosophy to reckon with the rise of the Third Reich. After World War II, Arendt became one of the most prominent—and controversial—public intellectuals of her time, publishing influential works such as The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and Eichmann in Jerusalem. Samantha Rose Hill weaves together new biographical detail, archival documents, poems, and correspondence to reveal a woman whose passion for the life of the mind was nourished by her love of the world.
"As Hill points out in Hannah Arendt, even in works such as The Origins of Totalitarianism—surprise bestseller of the Trump era—the political is invariably brought back to the personal."
“Hannah Arendt by Samantha Rose Hill could hardly appear more opportunely. Arendt's way of thinking, though quick to the point of being difficult to follow, appeals to an increasing number of men and women who question the meaning of their lives in the world we share. Arendt's own writings and the books and essays analyzing them may seem exhaustive, yet Hill's work does something new: Without simplifying Arendt's thinking, she opens it to contemporary readers who, in the darkness of our times, will find a friend, a woman, who lived through the darkest of all times. It becomes clear to the reader that among Arendt's gifts to the world was the welcome she gave to those distinct from herself as passengers aboard her bullet-trains of thought. “
— Jerome Kohn, trustee, Hannah Arendt Bluecher Literary Trust
About the Author:
Samantha Rose Hill is the assistant director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and visiting assistant professor of political studies at Bard College, New York. She has also written for publications including Aeon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, openDemocracy.net, and others.