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Far from being evil incarnate, as the prosecution painted Eichmann, Arendt maintains that he was an average man, a petty bureaucrat interested only in furthering his career, and the evil he did came from the seductive power of the totalitarian state and an unthinking adherence to the Nazi cause. Indeed, Eichmann's only defense during the trial was "I was just following orders."
Arendt's analysis of the seductive nature of evil is a disturbing one. We would like to think that anyone who would perpetrate such horror on the world is different from us, and that such atrocities are rarities in our world. But the history of groups such as the Jews, Kurds, Bosnians, and Native Americans, to name but a few, seems to suggest that such evil is all too commonplace. In revealing Eichmann as the pedestrian little man that he was, Arendt shows us that the veneer of civilization is a thin one indeed. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A controversial book but an amazing one. I read it in conjunction with a much newer book "The EichmannTrial" by Deborah Lipstadt which helps put the whole controversy in... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Elaine Geddes
an in depth understanding into nazi ideology; i recommend having read something like the Nuremberg trials, and have a good historical understanding of the period before getting... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Salar
One of the greatest books I have ever read. After taking a Holocaust course , no book compared to this on its information, Ms. Read morePublished on July 3 2005
This book should be read by every highschool student, but unfortunately even our most celebrated members of society (congressmen, presidents, newscasters, opinion makers) have... Read morePublished on March 8 2002 by alex jager
A lot has been written and said about the Holocaust. This small book by a respected philosopher about the trial of Eichmann in Jerusalem is the largest and most thought provoking... Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2002 by Luciano Lupini
Hannah Arendt's book is a powerful and disturbing account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and the subtitle, A Report on the Banality of Evil, couldn't be more apt. According to Ms. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2001 by "badric"
Over the last 15 years, I have often come across references to Hannah Arendt when reading about the Holocaust, but only recently did I read "Eichmann in Jerusalem". Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2001
I first read this book 20+ years ago in my senior year of college, in a political theory seminar on Arendt, and have re-read it from time to time ever since. Read morePublished on July 24 2001 by Annie