The Origins of Totalitarianism

Version: Unabridged
Author: Hannah Arendt
Narrator: Wanda McCaddon
Genres: Politics, Current Affairs, Public Policy
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: December 2007
# of Units: 20 CDs
Length: 22 hours
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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. 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.

Reviews (1)

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Written by JHP on November 19th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This work is an astonishing piece of scholarship and, sadly, extremely timely. But Arendt's sentences are so complex that the slightest distraction causes the commuter listener to forget the beginning by the end. This book really needs to be read and reread sentence by sentence in a leisurely fashion.

Author Details

Author Details

Arendt, Hannah

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) is the author of The Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, On Violence, and Eichmann in Jerusalem, among numerous other books and essays. Liliane Weissberg is Joseph B. Glossberg Term Professor in the Humanities and is a professor of German and comparative literature and chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania.