In The Age Of Trump, Hannah Arendt’s 66-Year-Old Philosophy Tome Is Selling Bigly by the Forward

In The Age Of Trump, Hannah Arendt’s 66-Year-Old Philosophy Tome Is Selling Bigly

Image by Getty

In 1951, the Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt published “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” her 600-page twin study of Nazism and Stalinism. The book received rave reviews; Norman Podhoretz, the Jewish New York intellectual, compared it to an epic poem.

Then, 66 years later, in December of last year, Arendt’s book began selling at 16 times its usual rate. In January the book sold out on Academics and publishers have cited the book’s contemporary appeal as the major factor in its resurgence.

“I think the resurgence in the last year has been around the phenomenon of totalitarianism and that sense that something like a crisis is occurring and we don’t know how to address it,” Lyndsey Stonebridge, an Arendt scholar, told

“What she understood,” Stonebridge added, “is that you don’t need to be a totalitarian state to exhibit the characteristic features of totalitarianism. Her focus was on modern loneliness, the isolated individual who loses a kind of rootedness in the world and therefore is prime material for the takeover of ideology.”

Contact Ari Feldman at or on Twitter @aefeldman.

Arendt’s Totalitarianism Philosophy Book Sells Bigly


Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. He covers Jewish religious organizations, synagogue life, anti-Semitism and the Orthodox world. If you have any tips, you can email him at Follow him on Twitter @aefeldman.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

In The Age Of Trump, Hannah Arendt’s 66-Year-Old Philosophy Tome Is Selling Bigly

Thank you!

This article has been sent!