The Origins of Totalitarianism

By Hannah Arendt
Read by Wanda McCaddon

23.40 Hours 12/01/2007 unabridged
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A recognized classic and definitive account of its subject, The Origins of Totalitarianism traces the emergence of modern racism as an “ideological weapon for imperialism,” begining with the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe in the nineteenth century and continuing through the New Imperialism period from 1884 to World War I. In her analysis of the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, Arendt focuses on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in the twentieth century: Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, which she adroitly recognizes as two sides of the same coin rather than opposing philosophies of the Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the transformation of classes into masses, the role of propaganda, and the use of terror essential to this form of government. In her brilliant concluding chapter, she discusses the nature of individual isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

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Summary

Summary

An Amazon.com Bestseller

A recognized classic and definitive account of its subject, The Origins of Totalitarianism traces the emergence of modern racism as an “ideological weapon for imperialism,” begining with the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe in the nineteenth century and continuing through the New Imperialism period from 1884 to World War I.

In her analysis of the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, Arendt focuses on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in the twentieth century: Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, which she adroitly recognizes as two sides of the same coin rather than opposing philosophies of the Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the transformation of classes into masses, the role of propaganda, and the use of terror essential to this form of government. In her brilliant concluding chapter, she discusses the nature of individual isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The work of one who has thought as well as suffered…A disquieting, moving, and thought-provoking book.” New York Times Book Review
“The most influential single book on the theme of totalitarianism.” Foreign Affairs 50-Year Bibliography
“Looks at almost every pernicious trend in the last century’s politics with stunning subtlety.” Christopher Caldwell, National Review
“With The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt emerges as the most original and profound—therefore the most valuable—political theoretician of our times.” New Leader

Reviews

Reviews

by Timothy1 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Wonderful meditation on the structure of society

The reader has a melodious voice and feels like speaking with Judi Dench for the entire book. She has a beautiful voice.

Arendt is a deft philosopher and the book's meditations on Anti-semetism, Colonialism, Totalitarianism left me with a more full understanding of historical and current trends in society, particularly regarding ideology which I find to be a fascinating subject.

Author

Author Bio: Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) was born in Hanover, Germany, fled to Paris in 1933, and came to the United States after the outbreak of World War II. She was editorial director of Schocken Books from 1946 to 1948. She taught at Berkeley, Princeton, the University of Chicago, and the New School for Social Research.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Political Science
Runtime: 23.40
Audience: Adult
Language: English