ON REVOLUTION by Hannah Arendt

ON REVOLUTION

KIRKUS REVIEW

Hannah Arendt is one of the world's most profound political scientists: her scholarship is sterling, her philosophical- psychological insights staggering; two of her books Origins of Totalitariansim and Human Condition are among the few significant works in her field and our era. Whenever she publishes, it is an event. And although she is not at her best in this close study of the American and French revolutions and their meaning for the 20th century, still on every page we are in the presence of a mind of high individuality, great interest and intellectual integrity. It is her thesis that the Founding Fathers were faithful above all else to the ideal of freedom as the end and justification of revolution and thereby they assured its success. On the other hand, the Rousseau-Robespierre misalliance, the idea of the general will binding the many into the one, the transformation of the Rights of Man into the rights of Sans-Culotte, not only ultimately led to the Reign of Terror but also the whole catalogue of post-1792 ideological corruptions. The malhcurcux became the enrages, then the Industrial Revolution's miserables. And the Marxist Leninist acceptance of the new absolutism, which was done in the name of historical necessity and the name of the proletariat as a "natural" force, subsequently absolved both tyranny and blood baths as stages along the way... A powerful indictment and illumination, both immediate and enduring.
Pub Date: March 15th, 1963
ISBN: 0143039903
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1963




MORE BY HANNAH ARENDT

NonfictionLOVE AND SAINT AUGUSTINE by Hannah Arendt
by Hannah Arendt
NonfictionESSAYS IN UNDERSTANDING by Hannah Arendt
by Hannah Arendt
NonfictionTHE LIFE OF THE MIND by Mary McCarthy
by Hannah Arendt