Chapter

Arendt and <i>The Origins of Totalitarianism</i>

Bernard Crick

in Hannah Arendt in Jerusalem

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780520220560
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520923669 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520220560.003.0006
Arendt and The Origins of Totalitarianism

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This chapter presents an analysis of Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism. The book appears systematic, but it is not. Part I, “Antisemitism,” and Part 2, “Imperialism,” are somewhat loosely connected to Part 3, “Totalitarianism,” which contained her basic concern, our common burden of failure and guilt: how the Holocaust could ever have happened. She saw this as not necessarily a unique event over the whole sweep of human history in terms of numbers, but as unique horror and shame for our times in that it negated, came near to destroying, the liberal hopes of progress ascendant in Europe and America before the First World War.

Keywords: Hannah Arendt; totalitarianism; Holocaust; guilt

Chapter.  5224 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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