Hannah Arendt: Radical Conservative

Hannah Arendt: Radical Conservative

by Irving Louis Horowitz
     
 

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Hannah Arendt: Radical Conservative paints a broad picture of the personal traits and professional achievements in the work of an extremely complex iconographic figure in twentieth-century intellectual life. Writing about Hannah Arendt is an exercise in the biographic intersecting with the academic. It is an effort to bring together contexts of work

Overview

Hannah Arendt: Radical Conservative paints a broad picture of the personal traits and professional achievements in the work of an extremely complex iconographic figure in twentieth-century intellectual life. Writing about Hannah Arendt is an exercise in the biographic intersecting with the academic. It is an effort to bring together contexts of work with contents of thought. This volume was written in response to continuing interest in her work and also to the bitter and sometimes emotional attacks of her toughest critics. Horowitz emphasizes her unique contributions to political philosophy.

Hannah Arendt has been described in many ways. She has been called a feminist, a dedicated worker for and writer about Jewish causes, a German advocate of its highest aspirations and assumed superiority to just about any other linguistic and national tradition, and a person whose very name is identified with anti-Nazism. Irving Louis Horowitz conveys the passion Hannah Arendt’s scholarship has elicited as well as the diversity of her writings.

Hannah Arendt’s career is a lesson in the life of the human mind. Her reflections on our political universe are both interesting and compelling. Those who identify themselves firmly within a single tradition or culture may escape the problem of relativism, but they also suffer the problem of absolutism. This long-standing tension between traditions, cultures, and systems is what Horowitz has taken from Arendt’s writings. Her sense of nuance has made her a compelling figure in twentieth-century ideas and a controversial voice well into the twenty-first century.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book consists of eight essays or review-essays written over more than 50 years. Together they add up to much more than many or most of the monographs written on Arendt and amount to an excellent and beautifully written introduction to her body of work."

—Nalin Ranasinghe, Society

"The essays testify to a lively, admiring, but by no means uncritical engagement with Arendt's thinking over the course of forty years, and Horowitz has valuable things to say. . . . He combines a lifelong familiarity with Arendt's writings with a commitment to accuracy that enables him to demonstrate again and again how allegations of Arendt's alleged Germanophilia or anti-Semitism are wholly specious. . . . trenchant critique . . . a worthy final roar from one of the lions of American Academia."

—Robert C. Kunath, The Historian

“Though she died almost 40 years ago, Hannah Arendt remains a much discussed figure in both the Jewish world and the academic community. This is a small collection of essays by Professor Horowitz covering a number of topics relating to Arendt, her writing and her legacy.”

—Fred Isaac, Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews newsletter

“Horowitz (Hannah Arendt Distinguished U. Professor Emeritus, sociology and political science, Rutgers U.) collects eight of his essays written over many years which present a critical but balanced reading of Arendt’s controversial thought from a political science/philosophical perspective.”

Book News

"A political theorist with a flair for grand historical generalization, Hannah Arendt exhibited the conceptual brio of a cultivated intellectual, the conscientious learning of a German-trained scholar, and the undaunted spirit of an exile who had confronted some of the worst horrors of European tyranny. Her life was enriched by innovative thought. . . . Although her books addressed a general audience from the standpoint of disinterested universalism. Jewishness was an irrepressible feature of her experience as well as a condition that she never sought to repudiate."

Stephen J. Whitfield, Brandeis University

"Arendt remains one of the most original, challenging and influential political thinkers of the twentieth century and her work will no doubt continue to provide inspiration for political philosophy as we enter the twenty-first century."

Majid Yar, Lancaster University, UK

"Politics was the engrossing occupation of Hannah's life. Her fondness for the art of foundation, and the political geniuses who framed new sets of laws perhaps reflects the importance she gave in her general thinking to beginning and beginners, to man as the animal capable of incessant novelty, of being born new each time as unique individual, in the repetitive pattern of species life."

Mary McCarthy, American novelist

"By the time of her death Hannah Arendt had acquired an almost institutional status and was alternatively perceived as the arbiter of America's moral decline and as an intemperate scold. . . . Arendt insisted on remaining her own person. If she lost the conservatives or the radicals along the way, well then, she had no fear of traveling by herself."

Anthony Heilbut, New York University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412846028
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
04/30/2012
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.20(d)

Meet the Author

Irving Louis Horowitz (1929-2012) was Hannah Arendt Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Political Science at Rutgers University. He was the founder and served as chairman of the board and editorial director of Transaction Publishers.

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