Between Past and Future

Eight Exercises in Political Thought
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Hannah Arendt's insightful observations of the modern world, based on a profound knowledge of the past, constitute an impassioned contribution to political philosophy. In Between Past and Future, Arendt describes the perplexing crises modern society faces as a result of the loss of meaning of the traditional key words of politics: justice, reason, responsibility, virtue, and glory. Through a series of eight exercises, she shows how we can redistill the vital essence of these concepts and use them to regain a frame of reference for the future. To participate in these exercises is to associate, in action, with one of the most original and fruitful minds of the 20th century.

©2017 Hannah Arendt and Jerome Kohn (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Featured Article: 20 Best Philosophy Audiobooks for Getting Lost in Thought


Philosophy asks and analyzes the questions that have pressed on humankind for centuries: What does it mean to be human? Why are we here? How should we relate to each other? From ancient to contemporary times, these questions have been answered with varying, and sometimes contradictory, schools of thought. Draw parallels across time to dive deep into questions about the fundamental nature of our reality on macro and micro levels alike.

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Just stunning

Arendt – not a philosopher but a political theorist – is the philosophers’ supporter and friend. She takes in centuries of philosophy – and history and literature, concerning which she’s also no slouch – and explains how the philosophers call and answer one another over time and space. I would be as good at understanding these communications as I would be at decrypting whale talk. She may touch on current events – she may write a book on German and Soviet totalitarianism and another on Eichmann – but all of her books, topical or otherwise, synthesize theory and history and speak to our present political predicament better than do our own commentators. I've read four of her books so far, and this one is the most well written (and that's saying something). Arendt is a real prose stylist. Each chapter covers a different aspect of modern life. All is related to politics, however. The preface is one of the best I've ever read. The voice is perfect. I can follow the argument, amazingly enough, without stopping and reading. I do like having both the print and the Audible versions, though, because of all of the annotations the print version is getting.

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should be required reading

this book is now my favorite. I'm going to re-read it a few hundred times.

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Good stuff

I’m sure I will listen to this book a few more times. There is a lot of information and requires concentration. Hard to capture all of it when driving. Over all I can say it’s a very good book and enlightened me on a few different levels.