Kei Hiruta, Hannah Arendt and Isaiah Berlin: Freedom, Politics and Humanity, Princeton University Press, 2021, 288 p.
For the first time, the full story of the conflict between two of the twentieth century’s most important thinkers—and how their profound disagreements continue to offer important lessons for political theory and philosophy.
Two of the most iconic thinkers of the twentieth century, Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) and Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997) fundamentally disagreed on central issues in politics, history and philosophy. In spite of their overlapping lives and experiences as Jewish émigré intellectuals, Berlin disliked Arendt intensely, saying that she represented “everything that I detest most,” while Arendt met Berlin’s hostility with indifference and suspicion. Written in a lively style, and filled with drama, tragedy and passion, Hannah Arendt and Isaiah Berlin tells, for the first time, the full story of the fraught relationship between these towering figures, and shows how their profoundly different views continue to offer important lessons for political thought today.
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