return to, the home of critical reviews

Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem , A report on the Banality of Evil

From:     book reviews
Category: Books
Date:     24 April 2008
Time:     09:14 PM


I had fallen asleep too often reading her book on totalitarianism therefore avoided this book which 
launched the famous phrase. 

It is brilliant. Full of scathing angry intelligence. One of most illuminating books on the holocaust, it 
shakes the heavy layers of rhetoric and cliche off the event, and confronts you again with the fresh 
huge depressing questions that it asks. Precise thoughts on justice and guilt. To take one small 
example she says of post-war young germans feeling guilt that is an easy sentimental emotion (aren't 
I virtuous for feeling guilty when I havent done anything) , and more appropriate would have been 
anger with their elders who had accepted former Nazis back into government and had failed (in the 
twenty years after the war) to acknowledge their generation's knowledge and complicity in the 

She puts it better! Anyway read the book.

return to, the home of critical reviews