Hannah Arendt Center fellow Amy Schiller writes about what happens when only rich people give to charity for the Washington Post. On “Giving Tuesday”, which follows “Cyber Monday” each year after Thanksgiving, Schiller highlights how up to thirty percent of all charitable gifts in the United States are made in December. And while charity has always been a part of the American mythos, who gives has changed over time, and giving on average has declined.
Martha Minow recently spoke accepted the Leo Baeck Medal at the Leo Baeck Institute on November 19, 2019. Minow describes what she calls “upstanders,” those who stand up to dehumanizing and oppressive systems and have the courage to act against bureaucratized evil. “To be an upstander,” Minow writes, “may seem daunting especially if it implies solo, heroic action.
Adam Shatz writes about his life as a child chef for the New Yorker magazine. Shatz’s adolescent cooking career was provoked by early experiences with bullying and antisemitism. Turning to the kitchen, he went from baking chocolate cake, to starting a catering company at age 11, to being the subject of his art teacher’s documentary for a local cable-access channel, to studying in France, and eventually writing about culture and politics...
Mireille Juchau revisits a book published by Charlotte Beradt in 1985 on The Third Reich of Dreams: The Nightmares of a Nation. Beradt was an acquaintance of Hannah Arendt’s and translated five her essays. Beradt’s work echoes Arendt’s work in the The Origins of Totalitarianism,and challenges readers to think about spaces of freedom in thinking, beyond the public and private realm:
John McWhorter comments on the firing of Steven Wilson, formerly CEO of a group of charter schools in New York that serve primarily students of color. Wilson was fired after a petition circulated titled, “Hold the CEO of Ascend Public Charter Schools Accountable for White Supremacist Rhetoric.” What exactly was the “white supremacist rhetoric” that Wilson was guilty of?
Conor Friedersdorf profiles Hannah Arendt Center NEH Fellow Thomas Chatterton Williams for The Atlantic. Looking at Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race, Friedersdorf explores the ways in which the work of Chatterton Williams moves from personal experience. What ensues is a thoughtful engagement with a must read work that strikes out against the ideologically driven politics of our time.
Echoing Hannah Arendt’s definition of ideology in The Origins of Totalitarianism, Timothy Snyder looks at Hitler’s use of propaganda within the context of our contemporary political situation. How are singular ideas transformed into ideological narratives that claim to explain away the ills of the world?