What is politics? How is politics different from other spheres of human life? What is behind the debasement of political life today? This book argues that the most illuminating answers to these questions have come from Hannah Arendt. Arendt held that Western philosophy has never had a 'pure concept of the political', and that political philosophers have been guided and misguided by the assumptions implicit in their metaphysical questions. Her project was 'to look at politics … with eyes unclouded by philosophy', and to retrieve the non-theoretical understanding of politics implicit in ancient Greek literature and history. David Arndt's original and accessible study shows how Arendt reworked some of the basic concepts of political philosophy, which in turn led her to a re-interpretation of American political history and even to a profoundly original reading of the US Declaration of Independence.