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  • Published: 30 March 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241316757
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 752
  • RRP: $22.99

The Origins of Totalitarianism




Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism, a surprise bestseller in 2017

Arendt's classic work explores totalitarianism through an extended analysis of the Nazi and Soviet regimes. In a series of dazzling insights, she explores the role of propaganda, the use of terror and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination. A surprise bestseller in the wake of the US presidential election, Arendt's book offers chilling lessons about the threat of totalitarianism that we ignore at our peril.

  • Published: 30 March 2017
  • ISBN: 9780241316757
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 752
  • RRP: $22.99

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Praise for The Origins of Totalitarianism

A kind of nonfiction bookend to Nineteen Eighty-Four

The New York Times

Perhaps Arendt's most profound legacy is in establishing that one has to consider oneself political as part of the human condition. What are your political acts, and what politics do they serve?

Zoe Williams, Guardian

How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times, even if they are different and perhaps less dark, and Origins raises a set of fundamental questions about how tyranny can arise and the dangerous forms of inhumanity to which it can lead

Washington Post

A vivid account of the system of concentration and death camps that Arendt believed defined totalitarian rule

Jeffrey C. Isaac, The Washington Post

Remarkable for us, no doubt, is Arendt's conviction that only philosophy could have saved those millions of lives

Judith Butler, Guardian

Her masterpiece ... Arendt's inquiry into the elements of totalitarian domination teaches us we must never let go of the fear of totalitarian government

Los Angeles Review of Books

Her greatest work is this 1951 classic ... More than any thinker it was Hannah Arendt who identified how those movements of ideas, racial theories, people and methods take place, showing how they fused with other forces - most notably European antisemitism - to shape and ultimately disfigure the twentieth century

David Olusoga, Guardian

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