We Are Free to Change the World: Hannah Arendt’s Lessons in Love and Disobedience (Hardback)
  • We Are Free to Change the World: Hannah Arendt’s Lessons in Love and Disobedience (Hardback)

We Are Free to Change the World: Hannah Arendt’s Lessons in Love and Disobedience (Hardback)

Hardback 304 Pages
Published: 25/01/2024
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Waterstones Says

An engrossing biography of one of the twentieth century's most influential intellectuals, Stonebridge's incisive volume also draws parallels between Arendt's reflections on her own turbulent times and the crises we are living through today.

The violent unease of today's world would have been all too familiar to Hannah Arendt. Tyranny, occupation, disenchantment, post-truth politics, conspiracy theories, racism, mass migration, the banality of evil: she had lived through them all.

Born in the first decade of the last century, Arendt escaped fascist Europe to make a new life for herself in America, where she became one of the world's most influential - and controversial - public intellectuals. She wrote about power and terror, exile and love, and above all about freedom. Questioning - thinking - was her first defence against tyranny. In place of the forces of darkness and insanity, she pitched a politics of plurality, spontaneity and defiance. Loving the world, Arendt taught, meant finding the courage to protect it.

Written with passion and authority, Lyndsey Stonebridge's We Are Free to Change the World illuminates Arendt's life and work and its urgent dialogue with our troubled present. It calls on each of us to think our way, as Hannah Arendt did - unflinchingly, lovingly and defiantly - through our own unpredictable times.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781787332522
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 506 g
Dimensions: 242 x 165 x 28 mm


Compelling and original - Observer

Invigorating and insightful… An exhilarating and thoroughly humanising portrait of one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century… With impressive clarity and infectious passion, she follows the currents of Arendt’s thought to a rousing conclusion - Financial Times

An absorbing new biography… Stonebridge does an admirable job… She imagines her way into Arendt’s life, in places literally retracing her subject’s footsteps, sensing the climate and smelling the (typically smoke-filled) air in an effort of understanding - Economist

An exhilarating, brilliant and utterly original read; an iconic 20th century figure brought to life in all her facets, splendours and complexities - Philippe Sands, author of East West Street

In this extraordinary book, Lyndsey Stonebridge details the life and thought of Hannah Arendt in ways that speak to our troublesome times. We get a sense of the expansiveness of Arendt’s thought - her vulnerabilities and her complexity - with stories and intimate details that reveal Stonebridge’s love of her. Beautifully written, We Are Free to Change the World is biography at its best - Eddie Glaude, author of Begin Again

Expertly analysed and beautifully written, Stonebridge on Arendt is a rare gem, combining complex history and stark contemporary resonance with sparks of hope that we really are free to change the world - Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, author of On Liberty

Both a warmly engaging intellectual biography and a tract for the times, this is a needful reminder of what political thinking looks like when it is humane, literate and radical all at once - Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

A passionate, original defence of the politics of thinking, and especially of women thinking in public, We Are Free to Change the World is witty, moving and inspiring, at once fiercely angry and a work of deep moral wisdom - Sarah Churchwell, author of Behold, America

A timely and magisterial biography… A critically important overview of Arendt’s life and thought - Irish Times

We Are Free to Change the World lightens both the darkness of the times we live in and the burdens we carry on our shoulders. Both serious and joyful, readers of this wonderful book will think and laugh - Jerome Kohn, Trustee, Hannah Arendt Blücher Literary Trust

An invigorating and fresh invitation into the world of Hannah Arendt. Stonebridge's accessible and thoughtful writing allows the reader to glide into a complex engagement with ease and joy - Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show

A bold and exhilarating book. It sparkles with ideas and plumbs new depths in the great Hannah Arendt’s thinking. Stonebridge brilliantly brings our own troubled times and Arendt’s face-to-face with one another to wake us into urgency and into greater appreciation of an iconic woman - Lisa Appignanesi, author of Mad, Bad and Sad

In this this brilliantly imagined and compulsively readable book, Lyndsey Stonebridge reveals how Hannah Arendt’s life and thought across the twentieth century matter to our own time – how she dramatised the interplay of love and loneliness, teaching us how not to miss what is under our noses, and that no freedom survives without the presence of others. For its contemporary relevance and exquisite prose, this is a breathtaking triumph - Samuel Moyn, author of The Last Utopia

Lyndsey Stonebridge walks the world in Hannah Arendt’s footsteps, reaching back a hand to bring us along. One feels Arendt is still with us, still commenting on events, still cross, ironic, or ebullient, still brilliant, but also always a person... A brilliant and wonderful book - Bonnie Honig, author of Public Things

This is a book filled with luminous insights not just into Hannah Arendt but into the moral challenges of our times - Jewish Chronicle

Scintillating and always bracing... A gripping book.… presenting us with a Hannah Arendt who is all too human - Literary Review

A splendid, ever-so-timely consideration of Arendt and her thoughts on how nations sink into tyranny - Kirkus, Starred Review*

Arendt teaches us here, there is power in our capacity to love… In We Are Free to Change the World, Stonebridge paints a tender picture of Arendt as a person not just a brilliant mind… I think you have to know what love is, too, to write a biography as beautiful and intimate, if not flawless, as this one - Theos Think Tank

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