Men in Dark Times

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1968 - Philosophy - 272 pages
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"Dark times" is Brecht's phrase, and Hannah Arendt uses it not to suggest that those she writes about are "mouthpieces of the Zeitgeist" (none in fact fit such roles), but, rather, that the routine repetitive horrors of our century form the substance of the dark against which their lives of illumination were lived. All the essays, written over a period of years, are concerned with persons--writers who (except Lessing) share the first half of the twentieth century--and only implicitly with issues. Dr. Arendt believes that "Even in the darkest of times we have the right to expect some illumination, and that such illumination may come less from theories and concepts than from the uncertain, flickering, and often weak light that some men and women, in their lives and works, will kindle under almost all circumstances and shed over the time-span that was given them on earth."--Publisher description.
 

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User Review  - GalenWiley - LibraryThing

Essays on Karl Jaspers, Rosa Luxemburg, Pope John XXIII, Isak Dinesen, Bertolt Brecht, Randall Jarrell, and others whose lives and work illuminated the early part of the century. Index. ** Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GalenWiley - LibraryThing

Essays on Karl Jaspers, Rosa Luxemburg, Pope John XXIII, Isak Dinesen, Bertolt Brecht, Randall Jarrell, and others whose lives and work illuminated the early part of the century. Index. ** Read full review

Contents

18711919
33
A CHRISTIAN
57
18921940
153
19031954
251
19141965
263
INDEX
269
A LAUDATIO
273
Copyright

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About the author (1968)

Born in Hanover, Germany, Hannah Arendt received her doctorate from Heidelberg University in 1928. A victim of naziism, she fled Germany in 1933 for France, where she helped with the resettlement of Jewish children in Palestine. In 1941, she emigrated to the United States. Ten years later she became an American citizen. Arendt held numerous positions in her new country---research director of the Conference on Jewish Relations, chief editor of Schocken Books, and executive director of Jewish Cultural Reconstruction in New York City. A visiting professor at several universities, including the University of California, Columbia, and the University of Chicago, and university professor on the graduate faculty of the New School for Social Research, in 1959 she became the first woman appointed to a full professorship at Princeton. She also won a number of grants and fellowships. In 1967 she received the Sigmund Freud Prize of the German Akademie fur Sprache und Dichtung for her fine scholarly writing. Arendt was well equipped to write her superb The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) which David Riesman called "an achievement in historiography." In his view, "such an experience in understanding our times as this book provides is itself a social force not to be underestimated." Arendt's study of Adolf Eichmann at his trial---Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963)---part of which appeared originally in The New Yorker, was a painfully searching investigation into what made the Nazi persecutor tick. In it, she states that the trial of this Nazi illustrates the "banality of evil." In 1968, she published Men in Dark Times, which includes essays on Hermann Broch, Walter Benjamin, and Bertolt Brecht (see Vol. 2), as well as an interesting characterization of Pope John XXIII.

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