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Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Revised Edition

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0803283688
ISBN-10: 0803283687
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Editorial Reviews


"Offers dazzling observations of human psychology, social interaction, esthetics, and religion. The book is one of the best examples of Nietzsche’s ability to unmask the essence of social reality and expose the origins of our illustrations."—New York Times Book Review
(New York Times Book Review)

"An excellent [translation]—accurate, lively, and in places even elegant. Here his style as an epigrammist comes to full bloom. This book is not just for Nietzsche students and buffs; perceptive and intelligent readers of all sorts can relate to his unencumbered and oft acerbic analysis."—Choice
(Choice) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English
Original Language: German

Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (December 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803283687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803283688
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
In order to give form to his Overman, Nietzsche had to call to account many human failings and weaknesses, and then reveal their baseness to the world. Nietzsche identified so much that had to be rejected in human life and affairs, (and so much that constituted greatness), which is the reason for the sheer scope of "Human, All Too Human". In 638 short aphorisms it covers politics, warfare, ascetics, morals, art, poetry, marriage, crime & punishment, the soul, and the gamut of human feeling, emotion, motive, instinct, will to power, habit and need.
In Human, All Too Human", Nietzsche outlines the basis of his later, more focused works. It is distinguished from these by its lack of arrogance, lack of aggression and its lack of real direction. Chapters are harnessed together by titles such as "A Look At The State", "Man Alone With Himself", "Signs Of Higher And Lower Culture", Man In Society", and "Woman And Child".
The book was written just after Nietzsche gave up his professors chair at Basel in Switzerland, and around the time of his break from his erstwhile father-figure, Richard Wagner. Nietzsche had now lost the shackles of youth and employment and was at his most free-spirited and this book is testimony to that fact: "Human, All Too Human" is dedicated to deliciously-malicious free-spirits everywhere.
Less intense than some of his later work, this book evokes a walk in the mountains enjoying pleasant conversation with one of the most penetrating and enlightened minds in history. Less intense perhaps, but no less compelling or unsettling.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first posted this review, I got an older reprint edition first, on Amazon at That is the "readily available translation" to which I compare this edition. On replying to a comment,below, I see there are a number of new editions of "Human, All Too Human", including one from Cambridge, whose editions of Nietzsche are generally very helpful, and often based on Hollingshead's translations. Here is my original review:

There are two readily available translations of Friedrich Nietzsche's "Human All Too Human". The first is a reprint from some unknown earlier translation, and there is no clear statement of who it is who did the translation. Had the translation been done by Walter Kaufmann or R. J. Hollingsdale, it would probably have been prominantly advertised. As it is, it is probably reprinted from the old, original translation, most of which Kaufmann and Hollingsdale have improved. But neither translated this book. The volume announces that it contains Parts One and Two, but this may be a slight misnomer. Part 2 of the volume is "Assorted Opinions and Maxims" and "The Wanderer and His Shadow". This may have been how these works were originally published in German, but if a commentator is referring to "Human All Too Human", they are referring only to Part One. One serious drawback of this edition is the unnamed editors have removed Nietzsche's paragraph numbers. For a work which will be cited in scholarly works, this borders on being unforgivable. There are several German and English editions of Nietzsche's works, all with different paginations; however, the paragraph numbering will be constant across all editions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Halifax Student Account on April 11, 2015
Format: Paperback
The trouble with Nietzsche is the mans high definition genius. How can his fans understand high definition genius when they are operating on low definition?

IF you wish to know the force of human genius, go read Nietzsche!

If you wish to see the insignificance of human learning, go read his fans comments.

Nietzsche suffered from divine intoxication, like Goethe.

Nietzsche's spiritual master was indeed Goethe, the Greek. When Goethe visited Greece, his imagined birth place, he was shocked at the shabbyness of the people and the rubble of unimpressive ruins.

Goethe, who was cleverer than Nietzsche and who had read everything from the classical era, in the original language, had constructed a high definition image in his head of the pagan past. The cleverer the individual, the more excited the fancies.

So Goethe travelled to his imagined homeland with all these wonderful fancies in his head. Goethe the poet, this genius, this poet who challenged the science of Isaac Newton, who all the later German genius' bowed down to, this man had a high definition film inside his head about the classical past which he'll add to his writings.

But when Goethe actually visited the real Greece, the bubble popped, he didn't like what he saw. His high definition fantasy was much better than the reality.

Goethe realized that all this time he was operating on a fantasy, all be it a brilliantly creative fantasy. In fact, Goethe's second Faust is peppered with classical moffitts only a genius who's read all there is to read can create. Goethe was no time traveller, well if he was he didn't come clean.

So this is the trouble with reading Nietzsche. Friedrich Nietzsche was not a time traveller.
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Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Revised Edition
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