The Political Consequences of Thinking: Gender and Judaism in the Work of Hannah Arendt

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In this book, Jennifer Ring offers a wholly new interpretation of Hannah Arendt's work, from Eichmann in Jerusalem, with its bitter reception by the Jewish community, to The Life of the Mind. Departing from previous scholarship, Ring applies the perspectives of gender and ethnicity to investigate the extent to which Arendt's identity as a Jewish woman influenced both her thought and its reception. Ring's analysis of Zionist and assimilationist responses to century-old antisemitic sexual stereo-types leads her to ...
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Overview

In this book, Jennifer Ring offers a wholly new interpretation of Hannah Arendt's work, from Eichmann in Jerusalem, with its bitter reception by the Jewish community, to The Life of the Mind. Departing from previous scholarship, Ring applies the perspectives of gender and ethnicity to investigate the extent to which Arendt's identity as a Jewish woman influenced both her thought and its reception. Ring's analysis of Zionist and assimilationist responses to century-old antisemitic sexual stereo-types leads her to argue that Arendt's criticism of European Jewish leadership during the Holocaust was bound to be explosive. New York and Israeli Jews shared a rare moment of unity in their condemnation of Arendt, charging that she had betrayed the Jewish community - the kind of charge, Ring contends, often leveled against women who dare to speak out publicly against prominent men in their own cultural or racial groups. The book moves from a feminist analysis of the Eichmann controversy to a discussion of Jewish themes in the structure and content of Arendt's major theoretical works. Ring makes a powerful contribution to an understanding of Arendt, and of multiculturalism, demonstrating that Arendt's most sustained philosophical work was influenced as much by her Jewish heritage as by her German education.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
New interpretations of Arendt's work, from "Eichmann in Jerusalem" to "The Life of the Mind", investigate the extent to which Arendt's identity as a Jewish woman influenced both her thought and its reception. Moving from a feminist analysis of the Eichmann controversy to a discussion of Jewish themes in Arendt's major theoretical works, the author demonstrates that Arendt's most sustained philosophical work was influenced as much by her Jewish heritage as by her German education. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
Ring’s analysis of Zionist and assimilationist responses to century-old antisemitic sexual stereotypes leads her to argue that Arendt’s criticism of European Jewish leadership during the Holocaust was bound to be explosive. New York and Israeli Jews shared a rare moment of unity in their condemnation of Arendt, charging that she had betrayed the Jewish community—the kind of charge, Ring contends, often leveled against women who dare to speak out publicly against prominent men in their own cultural or racial groups.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jennifer Ring is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Women’s Studies, University of Nevada, Reno, and has taught at Columbia University, Stanford University, the University of South Carolina, and the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author of Modern Political Theory and Contemporary Feminism: A Dialectical Analysis, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 The Politics of the Eichmann Controversy 21
Ch. 3 Israel and the Holocaust 43
Ch. 4 The New York Intellectuals and Eichmann in Jerusalem 91
Ch. 5 Race, Gender and Judaism: The Eichmann Controversy as Case Study 109
Ch. 6 Transition 157
Ch. 7 Biblical and Rabbinic Approaches to Thinking 173
Ch. 8 Greek and Hebrew: The Structure of Thinking 195
Ch. 9 Toward Understanding Arendt as a Jewish Thinker 213
Ch. 10 The Pariah and Parvenu in Thinking 231
Ch. 11 Jewish Themes in Political Action and History 255
Ch. 12 Conclusion 275
App Reviews of Raul Hilberg's The Destruction of the European Jews 289
Notes 297
Selected Bibliography 337
Index 349
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