Stranger from Abroad: Han­nah Arendt, Mar­tin Hei­deg­ger, Friend­ship and Forgiveness

Daniel Maier-Katkin
  • Review
By – August 25, 2011
Han­nah Arendt and Mar­tin Hei­deg­ger were two of the lead­ing thinkers of the early20th cen­tu­ry. Arendt was Heidegger’s stu­dent and she became his lover. When the Nazis gained pow­er in Ger­many, Hei­deg­ger joined them. Arendt, a Jew, fled Ger­many and even­tu­al­ly moved to New York where she taught at the New School for Social Research. Her con­tro­ver­sial writ­ings on the nature of total­i­tar­i­an­ism and the Eich­mann tri­al, her reflec­tions on the banal­i­ty of evil,” and her quest to cre­ate a decent soci­ety of human beings who can relate to one anoth­er show that she was a com­plex thinker. Her crit­i­cism of both Nazism and Zion­ism as dan­ger­ous eth­no­cen­tric move­ments also demon­strates this. Her abil­i­ty to for­give Hei­deg­ger shows that she believed in the pos­si­bil­i­ty of new begin­nings. This thought-pro­vok­ing book will encour­age read­ers to exam­ine their per­son­al beliefs as they gain insight into an impor­tant scholar.
Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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