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Anthem Companion to Hannah Arendt

Anthem Companion to Hannah Arendt

Edited by Peter Baehr & Philip Walsh

Anthem Companions to Sociology

The Anthem Companion to Hannah Arendt describes and appraises Hannah Arendt’s principal works and their bearing on sociology, social thought and the predicaments of modern society.

Hardback, 292 Pages

ISBN:9781783081851

February 2017

£70.00, $115.00

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  • About This Book
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

As recently as 2000, Hannah Arendt was considered an esoteric author within the fields of humanities and social science. Since that time, Arendt has moved from the fringes of intellectual discussion toward its center. A number of developments have driven this reappraisal: the renewed respectability of the concept of totalitarianism; the appearance of post-Nazi/Bolshevik genocidal movements in Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East; the reemergence of stateless people; and the revival of interest in civil/classical republicanism as a political alternative to liberalism and socialism. All of these events evoke Arendtian themes. The greater porousness between the humanities and social sciences in recent years, as a result of the impetus toward trans-disciplinary studies, has encouraged academics to move across intellectual borders. Arendt, a wide-ranging thinker with much to say about politics, society, science, history, aesthetics, philosophy and education, is a natural beneficiary of this process.

Extant compendiums of Arendt's work show a strong bias toward philosophy and political theory. In contrast, The Anthem Companion to Hannah Arendt is written principally by sociologists and authors with a keen interest in sociology and social theory. The result is a genuinely original contribution to Arendt studies. Written with the higher level undergraduate student in mind yet sufficiently challenging to engage readers well versed in her work, the book examines Arendt's most important books as they bear on modern social theories, issues and disputes. Her key conceptual distinctions – totalitarianism and dictatorship; labor, work, action; power and violence; thinking, willing and judging – are clarified. The controversies in which Arendt was caught up – notably over the 'banality of evil' epitomized by Adolf Eichmann – are explained. The result enables students to grasp a fully rounded understanding of Arendt's contribution to social inquiry. Written by a distinguished group of international scholars, the clear descriptions and stimulating interpretations of The Anthem Companion to Hannah Arendt bring Arendt's work into the forefront of sociological discussion.

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Author Information

Peter Baehr is professor of social theory at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. He is the author of Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism and the Social Sciences (2010) and the editor of The Portable Hannah Arendt (2002).

Philip Walsh is associate professor and chair of sociology at York University, Toronto. He has published articles in the areas of social theory, political sociology and the sociology of knowledge. He is the author of Arendt Contra Sociology: Theory, Society and Its Science (2015) and Skepticism, Modernity and Critical Theory (2005).

Series

Anthem Companions to Sociology

Table of Contents

Editors’ Introduction: Arendt’s Critique of the Social Sciences - Peter Baehr and Philip Walsh; Part I. Books; Chapter 1. Arendt and Totalitarianism - Charles Turner; Chapter 2. The Human Condition and the Theory of Action - John Levi Martin; Chapter 3. Eichmann in Jerusalem : Heuristic Myth and Social Science - Judith Adler; Chapter 4. “The Perplexities of Beginning”: Hannah Arendt’s Theory of Revolution - Daniel Gordon; Chapter 5. The Life of the Mind of Hannah Arendt - Liah Greenfeld; Part II. Selected Themes; Chapter 6. Hannah Arendt on Thinking, Personhood and Meaning - Philip Walsh; Chapter 7. Explaining Genocide: Hannah Arendt and the Social- Scientific Concept of Dehumanization - Johannes Lang; Chapter 8. Arendt on Power and Violence - Guido Parietti; Chapter 9. The Theory of Totalitarian Leadership - Peter Baehr; References; Notes on Contributors; Index.

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