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Hannah Arendt
1906 - 1975

Political philosopher, author of The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and others

Books by Hannah Arendt
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On Revolution
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The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)
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Wherever the relevance of speech is at stake, matters become political by definition, for speech is what makes man a political being.

1958 - from The Human Condition
As witnesses not of our intentions but of our conduct, we can be true or false, and the hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil, but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.

1968 - from On Revolution
The will to power, as the modern age from Hobbes to Nietzsche understood it, far from being a characteristic of the strong, is, like envy and greed, among the vices of the weak, and possibly even their most dangerous one. Power corrupts indeed when the weak band together in order to ruin the strong, but not before.

Our tradition of political thought had its definite beginning in the teachings of Plato and Aristotle. I believe it came to a no less definite end in the theories of Karl Marx.

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.

attributed
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.

1968 - from On Revolution
The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide. In this sense, truth, even if it does not prevail in public, possesses an ineradicable primacy over all falsehoods.

1972 - from "Lying in Politics" in Crises of the Republic
If men were ever to lose the appetite for meaning we call thinking, they would lose the capacity for asking all the unanswerable questions upon which every civilization is founded.