The discovery of The Human Condition as if it opened up a new world. “I’ve never opened a book of political philosophy like that.” Since then, Samantha Rose Hill has devoted two decades to the study and teaching of Hannah Arendt, culminating in the authorship of a new biography of the German political thinker. A personal journey and an extensive work that the author presented on Meet the Author, at FLAD.

The starting point was the work Hannah Arendt – A Biography, edited this year in Portugal by Relógio D’Água. But the conversation has led those present to the path of its author, Samantha Rose Hill, since she began reading political philosophy at the age of 12, and the way she got involved in the fascinating world of Hannah Arendt, a disconcerting, controversial thinker who remains deeply present.

As a political scientist, she was always told to focus on the authors’ work and not on their lives. But Hannah Arendt changed the way she saw political philosophy. “In someone like Hannah Arendt, we can’t write about the work without writing about her life,” the author said.

So when she accepted the challenge of writing a biography about the political thinker of the 20th century, she devoted herself to trying to understand her life as best as she could. In between, some gaps remain unfilled, including the three months Hannah Arendt lived in Lisbon, while fleeing a France invaded by Nazi Germany, bound for the United States, where she lived the rest of her life.

Her work remains present, and controversial, as it was in the last century. From her concept of love of the world, to the Banality of Evil she coined with the reporting of the Adolf Eichmann trial in Israel, and how the social has become a tradable commodity in modernity, resulting in a loss of freedom.

If you haven’t had a chance to watch it live, you can see the full conversation here:



Meet the Author is an initiative of FLAD, in partnership with PÚBLICO newspaper. The goal is to provide Portuguese readers with close contact with some of the most respected writers in the USA.

The sessions are monthly and open to the general public, free of charge. The invited authors are interviewed by journalist Isabel Lucas, also author of Viagem ao Sonho Americano (Companhia das Letras), in which she seeks to understand America through books.

We will soon announce the guests from the first months of 2023. Follow us to learn more.