We Are Free to Change the World

Hannah Arendt’s Lessons in Love and Disobedience

«Compelling and original»

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Jonathan Cape Ltd
24 x 17 cm

Om forfatteren

Lyndsey Stonebridge FBA is Professor of Humanities and Human Rights at the University of Birmingham, UK. She is the author of We Are Free to Change the World: Hannah Arendt’s Lessons in Love and Disobedience (2024); Placeless People: Writing, Rights, and Refugees (2018); winner of the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title; The Judicial Imagination: Writing After Nuremberg, which won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for English Literature; and the essay collection, Writing and Righting: Literature in the Age of Human Rights. She is a regular media commentator and broadcaster, and lives in London.



«Compelling and original»


«Invigorating and insightful… An exhilarating and thoroughly humanising portrait of one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century… With impressive clarity and infectious passion, she follows the currents of Arendt’s thought to a rousing conclusion»

Financial Times

«From Arendt’s life and work Stonebridge fashions a map for navigating our present-day struggles and concerns»

Times Literary Supplement

«In this extraordinary book, Lyndsey Stonebridge details the life and thought of Hannah Arendt in ways that speak to our troublesome times. We get a sense of the expansiveness of Arendt’s thought - her vulnerabilities and her complexity - with stories and intimate details that reveal Stonebridge’s love of her. Beautifully written, We Are Free to Change the World is biography at its best»

Eddie Glaude, author of Begin Again

«Expertly analysed and beautifully written, Stonebridge on Arendt is a rare gem, combining complex history and stark contemporary resonance with sparks of hope that we really are free to change the world»

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, author of On Liberty

«Both a warmly engaging intellectual biography and a tract for the times, this is a needful reminder of what political thinking looks like when it is humane, literate and radical all at once»

Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

«A passionate, original defence of the politics of thinking, and especially of women thinking in public, We Are Free to Change the World is witty, moving and inspiring, at once fiercely angry and a work of deep moral wisdom»

Sarah Churchwell, author of Behold, America

«We Are Free to Change the World lightens both the darkness of the times we live in and the burdens we carry on our shoulders. Both serious and joyful, readers of this wonderful book will think and laugh»

Jerome Kohn, Trustee, Hannah Arendt Blücher Literary Trust

«An invigorating and fresh invitation into the world of Hannah Arendt. Stonebridge's accessible and thoughtful writing allows the reader to glide into a complex engagement with ease and joy»

Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show

«A bold and exhilarating book. It sparkles with ideas and plumbs new depths in the great Hannah Arendt’s thinking. Stonebridge brilliantly brings our own troubled times and Arendt’s face-to-face with one another to wake us into urgency and into greater appreciation of an iconic woman»

Lisa Appignanesi, author of Mad, Bad and Sad

«Lyndsey Stonebridge walks the world in Hannah Arendt’s footsteps, reaching back a hand to bring us along. One feels Arendt is still with us, still commenting on events, still cross, ironic, or ebullient, still brilliant, but also always a person... A brilliant and wonderful book»

Bonnie Honig, author of Public Things

«This is a book filled with luminous insights not just into Hannah Arendt but into the moral challenges of our times»

Jewish Chronicle

«Scintillating and always bracing... A gripping book.… presenting us with a Hannah Arendt who is all too human»

Literary Review

«A splendid, ever-so-timely consideration of Arendt and her thoughts on how nations sink into tyranny»

Kirkus, *Starred Review*

«Arendt teaches us here, there is power in our capacity to love… In We Are Free to Change the World, Stonebridge paints a tender picture of Arendt as a person not just a brilliant mind… I think you have to know what love is, too, to write a biography as beautiful and intimate, if not flawless, as this one»

Theos Think Tank

«A timely and magisterial biography… A critically important overview of Arendt’s life and thought»

Irish Times

«In this this brilliantly imagined and compulsively readable book, Lyndsey Stonebridge reveals how Hannah Arendt’s life and thought across the twentieth century matter to our own time – how she dramatised the interplay of love and loneliness, teaching us how not to miss what is under our noses, and that no freedom survives without the presence of others. For its contemporary relevance and exquisite prose, this is a breathtaking triumph»

Samuel Moyn, author of The Last Utopia

«An absorbing new biography… Stonebridge does an admirable job… She imagines her way into Arendt’s life, in places literally retracing her subject’s footsteps, sensing the climate and smelling the (typically smoke-filled) air in an effort of understanding»


«Erudite and passionate... A superb read»

Maria Popova, The Marginalian

«An exhilarating, brilliant and utterly original read; an iconic 20th century figure brought to life in all her facets, splendours and complexities»

Philippe Sands, author of East West Street

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