On Violence

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar 11, 1970 - Philosophy - 114 pages

The political theorist and author of The Origins of Totalitarianism offers an “incisive, deeply probing” essay on violence and political power (The Nation).

Addressing the escalation of global warfare witnessed throughout the 1960s, Hannah Arendt points out that the glorification of violence is not restricted to a small minority of militants and extremists. The public revulsion for violence that followed World War II has dissipated, as have the nonviolent philosophies of the early civil rights movement.

Contemplating how this reversal came about and where it might lead, Arendt examines the relationship between war and politics, violence and power. She questions the nature of violent behavior and identifies the causes of its many manifestations. Ultimately, she argues against Mao Tse-tung’s dictum that “power grow out of the barrel of a gun,” proposing instead that “power and violence are opposite; where the one rules absolutely, the other is absent.”

“Written with clarity and grace, it provides an ideal framework for understanding the turbulence of our times.”—The Nation

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User Review  - GalenWiley - LibraryThing

An analysis of the nature, causes, and significance of violence in the second half of the twentieth century. Arendt also reexamines the relationship between war, politics, violence, and power ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Had this been written by Joan Bloggs, it would be out of print and almost certainly ignored. But it was written by Hannah Arendt, so it's in print. And given the lack of books on violence, that's ... Read full review

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About the author (1970)

Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) is considered one of the most important and influential thinkers of the twentieth century. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Origins of Totalitarianism and the essay collection Men in Dark Times.

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