Summary: Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution

This chapter summary is part of my reading summaries series. Click here for more information on the series.

On Revolution arose out of a 1959 seminar at Princeton on “The United States and the Revolutionary Spirit.” It is Arendt’s attempt to explain the unique role that revolutions play in the modern world. Drawing upon both ancient and modern history, she looks especially to the historical and philosophical contexts and consequences of the French and American Revolutions and how and whether these revolutions have failed. It provides a perspective through which to understand and evaluate contemporary life.

(You can order a copy here.)

Introduction: War and Revolution

Chapter 1: The Meaning of Revolution

Chapter 2: The Social Question

Chapter 3: The Pursuit of Happiness

Chapter 4: Foundation I: Constiuttio Libertatis

Chapter 5: Foundation II: Novus Ordo Saeclorum

Chapter 6: The Revolutionary Tradition and Its Lost Treasure

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