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Baehr, Peter
Hannah Arendt, totalitarianism, and the social sciences / Peter Baehr
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c2010
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  JC251.A74 B34 2010    AVAILABLE
Subject Arendt, Hannah, 1906-1975
Subject(s) Totalitarianism
Social sciences -- Philosophy
Physical Description ix, 231 p. ; 24 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 195-221) and index
Contents Hannah Arendt's indictment of social science -- "Totalitarianism" in the dialogue of David Riesman and Hannah Arendt -- Ideology, terror and the "mysterious margin" : Raymond Aron versus Hannah Arendt -- Totalitarianism as a secular religion : the dispute between Hannah Arendt and Jules Monnerot -- Concluding reflections : a new constellation of terror
Review "This book examines the nature of totalitarianism as interpreted by some of the finest minds of the twentieth century. It focuses on Hannah Arendt's claim that totalitarianism was an entirely unprecedented regime and that the social sciences had integrally misconstrued it. A sociologist who is a critical admirer of Arendt, Baehr looks sympathetically at Arendt's objections to social science and shows that her complaints were in many respects justified." "Avoiding broad disciplinary endorsements or dismissals, Baehr reconstructs the theoretical and political stakes of Arendt's encounters with prominent social scientists such as David Riesman, Raymond Aron, and Jules Monnerot. In presenting the first systematic appraisal of Arendt's critique of the social sciences, Baehr examines what it means to see an event as unprecedented. Furthermore, he adapts Arendt and Aron's philosophies to shed light on modern Islamist terrorism and to ask whether it should be categorized alongside Stalinism and National Socialism as totalitarian."--BOOK JACKET

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