Politics for Everybody: Reading Hannah Arendt in Uncertain Times by Ned O'Gorman
In this age of nearly unprecedented partisan rancor, you'd be forgiven for thinking we could all do with a smaller daily dose of politics. In his provocative and sharp book, however, Ned O'Gorman argues just the opposite: Politics for Everybody contends that what we really need is to do is engage more deeply with politics, rather than chuck the whole thing out the window. In calling for a purer, more humanistic relationship with politics--one that does justice to the virtues of open, honest exchange--O'Gorman draws on the work of Hannah Arendt (1906-75). As a German-born Jewish thinker who fled the Nazis for the United States, Arendt set out to defend politics from its many detractors along several key lines: the challenge of separating genuine politics from distorted forms; the difficulty of appreciating politics for what it is; the problems of truth and judgment in politics; and the role of persuasion in politics. O'Gorman's book offers an insightful introduction to Arendt's thought for anyone who wants to think more carefully about the predicaments of political culture in twenty-first century America.