Recently there has been an extraordinary international revival of interest in Hannah Arendt. She was extremely perceptive about the dark tendencies in contemporary life that continue to plague us. She developed a concept of politics and public freedom that serves as a critical standard for judging what is wrong with politics today.
Bernstein argues that Arendt should be read today because her penetrating insights help us to think about both the darkness of our times and the sources of illumination.
He explores her thinking about statelessness and refugees; the right to have rights; her critique of Zionism; the meaning of the banality of evil; the complex relations between truth, lying, power and violence; the tradition of the revolutionary spirit; and, the urgent need for each of us to assume responsibility for our political lives.
This short and very readable book will be of great interest to anyone who wants to understand the forces that are shaping our world today.
Bernstein, 88, has written extensively about a broad array of issues and philosophical traditions including American pragmatism, neo-pragmatism, critical theory, deconstruction, social philosophy, political philosophy and Hermeneutics.
His work is best known for the way in which it examines the intersections between different philosophical schools and traditions, bringing together thinkers and philosophical insights that would otherwise remain separated by the analytic/continental divide in 20th-century philosophy.
Throughout his life, Bernstein has actively endorsed a number of social causes and has been involved in movements of participatory democracy, upholding some of the cardinal virtues of the American pragmatist tradition, including a commitment to fallibilism, engaged pluralism, and the nurturing of critical communities.