The controversial journalistic analysis of the mentality that fostered the Holocaust Originally appearing as a series of articles in"The New Yorker," Hannah Arendt s authoritative and stunning report on the trial of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann sparked a flurry of debate upon its publication. This revised edition includes material that came to ...
The controversial journalistic analysis of the mentality that fostered the Holocaust Originally appearing as a series of articles in"The New Yorker," Hannah Arendt s authoritative and stunning report on the trial of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann sparked a flurry of debate upon its publication. This revised edition includes material that came to light after the trial, as well as Arendt s postscript directly addressing the controversy that arose over her account. A major journalistic triumph by an intellectual of singular influence, "Eichmann in Jerusalem"is as shocking as it is informative an unflinching look at one of the most unsettling (and unsettled) issues of the twentieth century that remains hotly debated to this day.This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction by Amos Elan. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators."
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An excellent piece of reportage, Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem" is a thorough account of a trial which attracted huge international attention.
Professor Arendt handles her subject deftly and with a light, dispassionate touch which I frequently found stylistically reminiscent of H.L. Mencken's journalism. A good deal of thoroughly unpleasant material is dealt with in the course of the trial, and Arendt's writing style neither trivialises nor sensationalises any of this.
The philosophical niceties of Eichmann's guilt are thoroughly explored, as is the uncomfortable fact of the illegality of his abduction by Shin Bet agents.
Eichmann's craving for importance in the world and for recognition in his own right appear, eventually, to be the main factors in his downfall, and indeed may have led to the lack of resistance whcich he offered to his captors. Such insights into the man's character are built, for the most part, chronologically, as the trial unfolds, which gives the work the necessary pace to avoid becoming bogged down in procedural detail.
Eichmann's sentence was never any more in doubt than that of the thousands he dispatched to the camps, proud of his efficiency in so doing. Indeed, it's hard to argue that it could have been otherwise, and at times even the defendant seemed keen for the gallows. Still, Arendt pays tribute to the professionalism of the trial judges, not only for their impartiality in judgement, but also for their resistance to the attempted politicisation of the proceedings by David Ben-Gurion and his administration.
An excellent, pithy account of a fascinating trial.
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