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Arendt was remarkably perceptive about some of the deepest problems, perplexities and dangerous tendencies in modern political life.Many of these have not disappeared; they have become more intense and more dangerous.
In the years since her death the scene has radically changed.
Her books have been translated into dozens of languages.
In the early 1920s she studied with Germany’s most important philosophers and theologians, including Husserl, Heidegger, Jaspers and Bultmann.
With the ominous growth of the Nazis and their rabid antisemitism, Arendt agreed to help her Zionist friends by doing research at the Berlin state library on Nazi antisemitic propaganda.
This was an extraordinary piece of good luck because we know that many others in similar circumstances were murdered in the cellars of the Gestapo.
Soon after her interrogation, Arendt decided to flee from Germany illegally. Arendt was officially stateless for eighteen years.All over the world, people are passionately interested in her work.There seems to be no end of books, conferences and articles focusing on Arendt and her ideas.They offer a fine general introduction as well as helpful specific prefaces to each section.Their own remarks are intelligent, informed, thoughtful, and establish a continuity of themes between sections while sharpening debate in them Many of the essays are so good and have attained such considerable notoriety that there will be a ready audience for the book."--J.This is a primary reason for her sensitivity to the plight of the stateless and the troubled status of refugees.Illegal German exiles in Paris faced the problem of not having official papers permitting them to work and many lead extremely precarious lives.Despite such thematic diversity, virtually all the contributors have made an effort to build bridges between interest-driven politics and Arendt's Hellenic/existential politics.Although some are quite critical of the way Arendt develops her theory, most sympathize with her project of rescuing politics from both the foreshortening glance of the philosopher and its assimilation to social and biological processes.She is an astute critic of the dangerous tendencies in contemporary life and she illuminates the potentialities for restoring the dignity of politics.This is why she is worth reading and rereading today. Arendt believed that all thinking should be grounded in and rooted in one’s experience.