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Few thinkers have addressed the political horrors and ethical complexities of the twentieth century with the insight and passionate intellectual integrity of Hannah Arendt. She was irresistibly drawn to the activity of understanding in an effort to endow historical, political, and cultural events with meaning. Essays in Understanding assembles many of Arendt's writings from the 1930s, 1940s and into the 1950s. Included here are illuminating discussions of St. Augustine, Kierkegaard, existentialism and Kakfa; relatively early examinations of Nazism, responsibility and guilt and the place of religion in the modern world; and later investigations into the nature of totalitarianism that Arendt set down after The Origins of Totalitarianism was published in 1951. The body of work gathered in this volume gives us a remarkable portrait of Arendt’s development as a thinker—and confirms why her ideas and judgments remain as provocative and seminal today as they were when she first set them down.