Hannah Arendt

03 Oct 1994 12:00

What the Hell is she saying, half the time? Most of On Revolution and The Origins of Totalitarianism are extremely lucid, and the latter is quite gripping; but every so often she arrives at some startling proposition and I cannot for the life of me see how she got there, or even, sometimes, what on earth it's supposed to mean. I find her ideas about "elementary republics" and the nature of authority particularly unclear.