Samantha Rose Hill on the Real Hannah Arendt
In conversation with Paul Holdengräber
Hannah Arendt is one of the most renowned political thinkers of the twentieth century, and her work has never been more relevant than it is today. Born in Germany in 1906, Arendt published her first book at the age of twenty-three, before turning away from the world of academic philosophy to reckon with the rise of the Third Reich. After World War II, Arendt became one of the most prominent—and controversial—public intellectuals of her time, publishing influential works such as The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and Eichmann in Jerusalem.
In Hannah Arendt (Critical Lives), Samantha Rose Hill weaves together new biographical detail, archival documents, poems, and correspondence to reveal a woman whose passion for the life of the mind was nourished by her love of the world. Listen to Hill in conversation with Paul Holdengräber at McNally Jackson.
From the conversation:
Samantha Rose Hill: She just was the person who walked into the room and everybody’s head turned and she loved the spotlight, but she was always negotiating that balance over the course of her life. And I think one of the quotes I pulled from a letter in the archive that I included in the book is that, it’s always nice to be praised, but it’s so much better to be understood.
Samantha Rose Hill is a senior fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and associate faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Aeon, Lit Hub, OpenDemocracy, Public Seminar, Contemporary Political Theory, and Theory and Event.