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Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences$
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Peter Baehr

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756501

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756501.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 15 April 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804756501.003.0001

This chapter introduces the nature of totalitarianism as interpreted by some of the finest minds of the twentieth century. Russian Bolshevism and German National Socialism, personified by Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler, killed around 36 million soldiers and civilians. Hannah Arendt's book The Origins of Totalitarianism is a classic treatment of Bolshevism and Nazism. Investigating totalitarianism was Arendt's ruling passion. The discussion covers a group of Arendt's most acute social critics, men of the caliber of David Riesman, Raymond Aron, and Jules Monnerot. All were skeptical of Arendt's theory of totalitarianism. In turn, Arendt had strong disagreements with them on subjects that straddled politics, ethics, and the interpretation of history.

Keywords:   Russian Bolshevism, German National Socialism, totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt

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