, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 175–177 | Cite as

Hannah Arendt, Thinking without a Banister: Essays in Understanding 1953–1975, ed. and Jerome Kohn

New York: Schocken Books, 2018. 534 pp. $40. ISBN 978–0805242157
  • Richard H. KingEmail author
Book Review

At the time of her death in 1975, Hannah Arendt was known, but not exactly well-known. Though her phrase “the banality of evil” dates back to Eichmann in Jerusalemin 1963, it did not immediately catch on at a popular level. Originally, it probably aroused more anger than it did interest. By the first half of the 1970s, her last few years of life, there was a revival of vital and lively political thought in the Anglosphere. Historically oriented liberals admired Isaiah Berlin, particularly for his distinction between positive and negative liberty and his accessible prose, while traditionalist conservatives were attracted to the revival of classical natural rights led by Leo Strauss and his followers. The objects of their animus were twin heresies of modernity--relativism and historicism. Philosophically inclined liberals of the analytical persuasion discovered a new standard-bearer in Harvard’s John Rawls, who proposed the idea of “justice as fairness” as part of a revival of...


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NottinghamNottinghamEngland

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