Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil MP3 CD – 28 Mar 2011
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About the Author
Hannnah Arendt (1906-1975) was for many years University Professor of Political Philosophy in the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research and a Visiting Fellow of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is also the author of Eichmann in Jerusalem, On Revolution, and Between Past and Future (all available from Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
What seems to have created the controversy was mostly the study of Eichmann that Arendt made (point 2). Eichmann continually stressed that he was not a 'Jew-hater', in fact he reports repeatedly of his contact with and respect for the Zionists. In fact, Eichmann also stresses that he never killed anyone nor was he ever capable of it.
So what is Arendt saying? well, she is actually just making a report, not really a judgement. She never suggests for a moment that Eichmann is not guilty of some definition of crimes against humanity - he shipped hundreds of thousands of Jews to their deaths. But what of the machine of government? Actually, she is not telling us that we might have been Eichmann under the same circumstances and she is not justifying his behaviour thus. There is no contention that his defence of 'i followed orders' is in anyway suitable to explain his crimes. But, Eichmann is no monster and that's not what people want to hear about the so-called 'architect of the Final Solution'.Read more ›
The overwhelming conclusion I drew from this book was that threats to our liberty (or even our lives) will not necessarily arrive goosestepping in a black shirt mouthing racial propaganda, but will instead insinuate themselves into our system in ways, and from a direction, we won't expect - and most disturbingly of all, that we might initially welcome those threats. I strongly recommend 'The Origins of Totalitarianism' as well; there are profound insights on every page, and I was amazed (given how long ago it was written) how prophetic it was.
Given the importance of this book, it is a shame that Penguin seem to have entrusted the transcription of the Kindle version to a 16 year-old exchange student on a work-experience placement. The typos are frequent, glaring, at times jarring, and on several occasions involve the omission of whole lines of text or quotation marks, altering the meanings of sentences. You can tell no one has bothered to check the text through because Hitler's title is written as "Fiirher" more or less throughout. I would therefore advise any prospective customers to definitely buy this book, but to get it in paperback unless these issues are resolved.
Arendt writes fluidly and you can polish the text off at quite a pace. It is not directly a work of philosophy, even in the sense that the rest of Arendt's work is, but a commentary on the key players in Eichmann's trial and the pertinent historical events, and mostly an analysis of the psychology of Eichmann. It is this psychological study which provokes the most important moral questions, as Eichmann is comes across as a rather stupid, ambitious individual who is sometimes comical in his failure but too complex to be a monster - in fact, too normal for comfort. This is the challenge posed by "the banality of evil": given the right environment and social factors, might there be an Eichmann in all of us?
Be aware that Arendt has her own social and political axes to grind,and this comes through in her commentary on the trial.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book introduced the clichéd term “banality of evil” but I don't know what else. I found it confusing, obscure and badly written, like so much of the material published... Read morePublished 16 days ago by John Fitzpatrick
The kindle version of this book is full of formatting and typographical errors - I got so fed up that I ended up borrowing the book from the library! Read morePublished 5 months ago by GC
Good book, arrived quickly and in great condition. Recommended if you're in to this kind of thing - otherwise it might be a bit of a hard read.Published 12 months ago by Anthony Thurlow
Delivered on time, very good conditions. In the front cover there is just a small advertisement of the film "Hannah Arendt", I guess that this is the reason for the cheap... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Massimo Terzo
Outstanding and illuminating analysis not just of the trial, but also of Zionism and the ideology of the Jewish state at the tim.Published 16 months ago by AZ
Absolutely gripping and beautifully written. A deep insight into the so-called 'Jewish question' during the Third Reich... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mr. A. Saunders