Hannah Arendt, a Jew born in Germany about a century ago, studied with the leading philosophers working in phenomenology and existentialism. She immigrated to New York when the Nazis came to power, taught at the New School, and wrote powerfully insightful books and essays on how totalitarianism gets its footing, and particularly on how Germans came to believe and act as they did. She covered the Adolf Eichmann trial for the "New Yorker" magazine. We will read and discuss some of her influential work on national identity, human nature, and humane political systems. Expect to find in these reflections on human nature, a clearer focus on the dangers democratic institutions face, and how the quality of political discourse can defend against them. | Facilitated discussion.