On Civil Disobedience

by Hannah Arendt

On Civil Disobedience

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£11.99
As we grapple with how to respond to emerging threats against democracy, Library of America brings together for the first time two seminal essays about the duties of citizenship and the imperatives of conscience. In 'Resistance to Civil Government' (1849), Henry David Thoreau recounts the story of a night he spent in jail for refusing to pay poll taxes, which he believed supported the Mexican American War and the expansion of slavery. His larger aim was to articulate a view of individual conscience as a force in American politics. No writer has made a more persuasive case for obedience to a 'higher law.' In 'Civil Disobedience' (1970), Hannah Arendt offers a stern rebuttal to Thoreau. For Arendt, Thoreau stands in willful opposition to the public and collective spirit that defines civil disobedience. Only through positive collective action and the promises we make to each other in a civil society can meaningful change occur. This deluxe paperback features an introduction by Roger Berkowitz, Founder and Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Human Rights at Bard College, who reflects on the tradition of civil disobedience and the future of American politics.
About the book

As we grapple with how to respond to emerging threats against democracy, Library of America brings together for the first time two seminal essays about the duties of citizenship and the imperatives of conscience. In 'Resistance to Civil Government' (1849), Henry David Thoreau recounts the story of a night he spent in jail for refusing to pay poll taxes, which he believed supported the Mexican American War and the expansion of slavery. His larger aim was to articulate a view of individual conscience as a force in American politics. No writer has made a more persuasive case for obedience to a 'higher law.' In 'Civil Disobedience' (1970), Hannah Arendt offers a stern rebuttal to Thoreau. For Arendt, Thoreau stands in willful opposition to the public and collective spirit that defines civil disobedience. Only through positive collective action and the promises we make to each other in a civil society can meaningful change occur. This deluxe paperback features an introduction by Roger Berkowitz, Founder and Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Human Rights at Bard College, who reflects on the tradition of civil disobedience and the future of American politics.

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