Subject classification:- Political Science: Political and Social Theory
Labor is, according to Arendt, those human activities whose main aim is to allow men to survive, for example eating, drinking and sleeping. These activities belong to the private sphere, and while the human being strives painstakingly to perform them, he is not free.
On the other hand, Action is the moment when the human being develops the capacity that distinguishes him, the ability of being free. This is the public sphere, where men, after having provided for themselves and their families what was needed to "continue in existence", can at last be free.
Arendt shows us the historical evolution of these concepts, and how that evolution is connected to the evolution of the concept of work. At the end of this book, you will have analyzed with her the human condition, from the point of view of the activities that the human being is capable of. What is more, you will be able to have a valid view regarding the past, and an interesting perspective on what is happening now, and on what the future may bring to us. Yes, it is true that this book was released a long time ago, but I believe that it is still as important now as it was then.
Arendt (1906-1975) was a respected professor and thinker, who wrote books that greatly influenced quite a few of her contemporaries. Even though her more significant book was "Origins of Totalitarianism" (1951), "The human condition" is also essential in order to understand her ideas.