Hannah Arendt   Essays in Understanding 1930–1954.
Edited by Jerome Kohn.
Harcourt Brace, 496 pages, $39.95

reviewed by Jenny Teichman

This collection, the first of two that will gather Hannah Arendt’s fugitive writings, contains forty papers, most but not all of which have been published before, some in German magazines, and some in English-language journals such as Commentary, Partisan Review, and The Commonweal. Its contents are very various. There are several book reviews, half a dozen essays on philosophy (or rather, on philosophers), some pieces on religion, a dedicatory letter to Karl Jaspers, an essay about Kafka, and two or three items containing material destined to form part of what is perhaps Hannah Arendt’s most important work, Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). The more significant essays, however, in my view, are those about Nazism. There are...


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