More than any other single book, Eichmann in Jerusalem taught America how to think about the Holocaust. Arendt, a German-born refugee from Nazism and a leading political philosopher, was sent to Israel by The New Yorker to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1962. There she discovered that Eichmann, despite his crucial role in the Holocaust, was no evil mastermind but a colorless bureaucrat. Arendt’s interpretation of what she controversially called “the banality of evil” helped to shape the world’s understanding of how ordinary human beings can be led to commit the worst crimes.