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Hannah Arendts most important contribution to political thought may be her well-known and often-cited notion of the right to have rights. In this incisive and wide-ranging book, Peg Birmingham explores the theoretical and social foundations of Arendts philosophy on human rights. Devoting special consideration to questions and issues surrounding Arendts ideas of common humanity, human responsibility, and natality, Birmingham formulates a more complex view of how these basic concepts support Arendts theory of human rights. Birmingham considers Arendts key philosophical works along with her literary writings, especially those on Walter Benjamin and Franz Kafka, to reveal the extent of Arendts commitment to humanity even as violence, horror, and pessimism overtook Europe during World War II and its aftermath. This current and lively book makes a significant contribution to philosophy, political science, and European intellectual history.