A New Graphic Novel Available Now
For Persepolis and Logicomix fans, a New Yorker cartoonist's page-turning graphic biography of the fascinating Hannah Arendt, the most prominent philosopher of the twentieth century.
A Timeless True Story
One of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century and a hero of political thought, the largely unsung and often misunderstood Hannah Arendt is best known for her landmark 1951 book on openness in political life, The Origins of Totalitarianism, which, with its powerful and timely lessons for today, has become newly relevant.
A Tale of Survival
She led an extraordinary life. This was a woman who endured Nazi persecution firsthand, survived harrowing "escapes" from country to country in Europe, and befriended such luminaries as Walter Benjamin and Mary McCarthy, in a world inhabited by everyone from Marc Chagall and Marlene Dietrich to Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. A woman who finally had to give up her unique genius for philosophy, and her love of a very compromised man--the philosopher and Nazi-sympathizer Martin Heidegger--for what she called "love of the world."
Compassionate and enlightening, playful and page-turning, New Yorker cartoonist Ken Krimstein's The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt is a strikingly illustrated portrait of a complex, controversial, deeply flawed, and irrefutably courageous woman whose intelligence and "virulent truth telling" led her to breathtaking insights into the human condition, and whose experience continues to shine a light on how to live as an individual and a public citizen in troubled times.
Conversations with the Author
Reviews for The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth
“Ken Krimstein's deeply moving graphic memoir about the life and thoughts of philosopher Hannah Arendt is not only about Hannah Arendt. It's also, through her words, about how to live in the world, the meaning of freedom, the perils of totalitarianism, and our power as human beings to think about things and not just act blindly. Krimstein explains Arendt's ideas with clarity, wit, and enormous erudition, and they still resonate.”
– Roz Chast
“Ken Krimstein conveys a fundamental, crucial message regarding Arendt's thinking about the world and the possibility of a recurrence of the thoughtless, meaningless evil of destruction that appeared in 20th century totalitarian regimes. The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt is beguiling, unsettling, and marvelous.”
– Jerome Kohn, Trustee, Hannah Arendt Bluecher Literary Trust
“Riveting, engaging, and enlightening, Ken Krimstein's graphic biography is the most intimate and imaginative dive to date into Arendt's personal and political lives.”
– Roger Berkowitz, Academic Director, Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, Bard College
“As an émigré intellectual who lived through dark times, Hannah Arendt led a life that was the stuff of legend, yet it was largely a life of the mind. In a remarkable feat of imagination, Ken Krimstein has condensed and envisioned it into a fully dimensional graphic novel, at once the story of an iconic figure and a requiem for a generation.” – Morris Dickstein
“In this brilliant, beautiful, and all-too-timely reimagining of the life of Hannah Arendt, Ken Krimstein has invented a new way to chronicle one of the 20th century's most inventive thinkers. The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt is in turns a wartime adventure tale, coming-of-age story, graphic novel of ideas, political biography, and love letter to truth-telling. There is magic on these pages.” – Michael Tisserand, author of KRAZY
“As an admirer of Hannah Arendt, I appreciate the significant enrichment that this book offers to an understanding of her life and times. Ken Krimstein brings his spare and elegant aesthetic to the depiction of a profound life lived in the shadow of fascism.” – Emil Ferris, author of MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS
“It seems counterintuitive that Hannah Arendt, known for her fiercely independent and pioneering philosophical writings, should be the subject of a cartoon biography, but Ken Krimstein has captured her epic life comprehensively. This by turns whimsical and poignant work is irresistible.” – Joseph Berger, author of DISPLACED PERSONS