Matthew Parris presents the biographical series in which his guests choose someone who has inspired their lives.
Munira Mirza, the London Mayoral advisor on arts and culture, chooses the influential political philosopher Hannah Arendt.
She is regarded as a highly influential 20th-century political philosopher, although Arendt would have refuted the title 'philosopher' herself. Born into a secular German Jewish family, she grew up in what is now Hanover and Berlin. A student with Heidegger (with whom she had a tumultuous relationship; they divorced in 1929), Arendt survived being interrogated by the Gestapo and moved to Paris, where she lived for a number of years before immigrating to America in the 1940s, settling in New York.
Arendt was a lively part of an intellectual circle and held a number of academic posts until her death. Little known in the UK, Arendt is chosen by Munira Mirza, the London Mayoral advisor on arts and culture and a founding member of the Manifesto Club.