Lyndsey Stonebridge — Thinking and Friendship in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt for Now

May 18, 2017

Along with George Orwell, the 20th-century political theorist Hannah Arendt is a new bestseller. She famously coined the phrase “the banality of evil” and wrote towering works like The Origins of Totalitarianism. She was concerned with the human essence of events that we analyze as historical and political. Totalitarianism she described as “organized loneliness,” and loneliness as the “common ground for terror.” The historian, she said, always knows how vulnerable facts are. And thinking is not something for elites; it is the human power to keep possibility alive.

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Lyndsey Stonebridge is a professor of modern literature and history at the University of East Anglia in Norfolk, England. She’s the author of The Judicial Imagination: Writing after Nuremberg as well as the essay “Thinking Without Banisters” for Jewish Quarterly magazine.