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Hannah Arendt

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Year of Publication: 1973

Arendt, Hannah, On Revolution, [1963], Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1973

Explores the concept and experience of revolution, drawing on the history of the American and French revolutions in particular, but also Russia, and develops the theme of the ‘lost treasure’ of revolutionary experience, which is the upsurge of creative and organisational energy in forms of direct democracy, and the conflict between popular political cooperation and the centralising tendencies of political parties.

Year of Publication: 1972

Arendt, Hannah, Crises of the Republic, New York, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972

The essay ‘Civil Disobedience’ discusses consent and the right to dissent in the context of the US Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam anti-war protests. It distinguishes between disobedience motivated by citizenship responsibility and that motivated primarily by individual conscience. The essay ‘On Violence’, examines the nature of power and violence (with examples from contemporary movements and politics), and argues that power (as she defines it) is not only distinct from violence but its opposite.