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Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of the Soul: A Study of Heroic Individualism (Studies in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy) Hardcover – October 2, 1990

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 2, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691073767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691073767
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,808,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Thiele offers an accessible and accurate portrait of Nietzsche's ideal of heroic individualism. [In Nietzsche,] Thiele retrieves a creator of values, of a model of the 'well-ordered soul,' a seductive and paradoxical existential thinker with a psychagogic aim."--Choice

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 1996
Format: Paperback
This short book from Princeton University Press (only about 200 pages) is popular scholarship at its best. Thiele cuts through the many difficulties of Nietzsche's work to present, in prose accessible to any bright undergraduate, the essence of Nietzsche's project: the creation of a self that gives a noble and passionate answer to the question what it means to be fully conscious, fully human, fully engaged in creating one's values and one's life. I've been reading Nietzsche for some ten years now, and had lately begun writing about what makes him so fascinating--when Thiele's book made my own effort unnecessary. If you want to know (1) why Nietzsche looms large in the modern mind and (2) whether you want to read him yourself, this is the place to start
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack Wonder on April 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book has risen further in my estimation on re-reading. Intellectually honest and daring, it is a `must read' for any inquisitive Nietzsche `searcher and researcher'. For once, Nietzsche the man and Nietzsche the philosopher merge. The author has an undeniable passion and veneration for the eponymous hero, and not (as is the case of many other authors of secondary literature) for himself.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
Could Friedrich Nietzsche actually have a hero? For those familiar with his works, the answer to this question would not be an easy one, for the reason that Nietzsche's writings are so honest as to be almost obscure. It is not common in literature or philosophy to find an author so willingly an exhibitionist. It is as though Nietzsche were himself trying to figure out who he was in his writings, and he never hesitates to reveal his thoughts. But maybe exhibitionist is not the right term to describe Nietzsche, as such a characterization would imply that he needed another's look to justify himself. But it seems as though Nietzsche was not writing for another, but for himself, feeling perhaps that his self-analysis was best done on paper.
The author addresses this book to the readers of Nietzsche's works who are "victims" and have swallowed the bait, and consequently "carried along by the flights of his thought". She makes sure immediately to caution the reader that the expression "heroic individualism" is not found in any of Nietzsche's writings. But the equation "individual = hero" holds throughout his works. The author does a fine job of extracting this mathematics of individuation from the the writings of Nietzsche. One finishing the book, one carries away a deeper appreciation of the playful seriousness of Nietzsche's philosophy and his admonition to do philosophy while always looking in the mirror, and seeing one's own reflection, not someone else's.
Nietzsche was always celebrating, according to the author, the death of gods, and his project was to inspire a passion for greatness in a world without gods. But idols are to be smashed, and the grandeur of man is not to be found in a divine origin.
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More About the Author

Leslie Paul Thiele teaches political theory and serves as Director of Sustainability Studies at the University of Florida. His interdisciplinary research focuses on sustainability issues and the intersection of political philosophy and the natural sciences. His central concerns are the responsibilities of citizenship and the opportunities for leadership in a world of rapid technological, social, and ecological change. He is currently developing practical principles inspired by nature to guide individual lifestyles and organizational practices. The work is tentatively entitled NATURE'S COMPASS. Leslie Paul Thiele lives in Gainesville, Florida.

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