Crises of the Republic – Hannah Arendt (1972)

1960s: Days of Rage


“‘The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people,’ Adrienne Rich wrote in her beautiful 1975 speech on lying and what truth really means, ‘are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life. The liar is someone who keeps losing sight of these possibilities.’ Nowhere is this liar’s loss of perspective more damaging to public life, human possibility, and our collective progress than in politics, where complex social, cultural, economic, and psychological forces conspire to make the assault on truth traumatic on a towering scale. Those forces are what Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906–December 4, 1975), one of the most incisive thinkers of the past century, explores in a superb 1971 essay titled ‘Lying in Politics,’ written shortly after the release of the Pentagon Papers and later included in Crises of the Republic (public library) — a…

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