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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday read

Hannah Arendt died nearly 42 years ago, but her book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, is newly relevant. Your local library almost certainly has a copy of the book, which is a landmark work of social criticism and analysis.

Here's the Wikipedia article about the book. Here's the book description from Amazon:

The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

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