这是为何？很大一个原因就在于这本书的副标题——A Report of the Banality of Evil，对“平庸的恶”（直译应译为“恶之平庸性”，这里采取了普遍译法）的一份报告。什么意思呢？就像是《朗读者》中，温斯莱特饰演的看起来平平无奇的前纳粹份子一样，当阿伦特亲眼看见坐在法庭上的这个恶贯满盈的纳粹分子的时候，她发现，艾希曼和人们想象中的恶魔并不一样。用她的原话来说，就是“纵使你费尽全力，也无法从艾希曼身上找到任何残忍的恶魔般的深度”。而对于艾希曼索犯下的滔天罪行，阿伦特总结道，是「不思考」让他成为了那个时代罪大恶极的罪犯。
So Eichmann's opportunities for feeling like Pontius Pilate were many, and as the months and the years went by, he lost the need to feel anything at all. This was the way things were, this was the new law of the land, based on the Führer's order; whatever he did he did, as far as he could see, as a law-abiding citizen. He did his duty, as he told the police and the court over and over again; he not only obeyed orders, he also obeyed the law. Eichmann had a muddled inkling that this could be an important distinction, but neither the defense nor the judges ever took him up on it. The well-worn coins of "superior orders" versus "acts of state" were handed back and forth; they had governed the whole discussion of these matters during the Nuremberg Trials, for no other reason than that they gave the illusion that the altogether unprecedented could be judged according to precedents and the standards that went with them. Eichmann, with his rather modest mental gifts, was certainly the last man in the courtroom to be expected to challenge these notions and to strike out on his own.