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Nietzsche, "The Last Antipolitical German" Hardcover – March 22, 1987

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Bergmann's fascinating book is really about the twists and turns of the German mind in the face of the growing German state. He unfolds history through Nietzsche's eyes. Nietzsche, by turns conservative, socialist, nationalist, anti-Semitic, and cosmopolitan, ceases to seem merely erratic when seen as reacting to the confusion that resulted when autonomous feudal principalities formed the Bismarckian state, which sought to absorb everyone into its life and ends. We can even understand Nietzsche's final mad itch to transcend humanity itself and push us on to the "superman." Bergmann breaks new ground in focusing on German history, though the germ of his idea is to be found as far back as Herbert L. Stewart's still-interesting Nietzsche and the Ideals of Modern Germany (London: Edward Arnold, 1915). Leslie Armour, Philosophy Dept., Univ. of Ottawa, Canada
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press; Reprint edition (March 22, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253340616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253340610
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,068,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce P. Barten on June 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Quite a biography, NIETZSCHE, "THE LAST ANTIPOLITICAL GERMAN" by Peter Bergmann, published in 1987, is a historian's attempt to place Nietzsche's writings in the political setting that provides a context for whatever goal Nietzsche might have been driving at in each stage of his development. In the history of philosophy before Nietzsche, Hegel is usually considered an official university philosopher who wished to preserve the significance of theology without clinging to the godlike articles of faith that define God in the hearts of believers. Bergmann asserts that Nietzsche never studied any of Hegel's books, but formed opinions based upon a political context in which the philosophy of Hegel represented an intellectual point of view that only needed to be aped by official philosophers.
I picked this book off my shelf again, after all these years, to look for the modern parallels which, like "The new anarchism of the eighties, heralded by Prince Kropotkin, a scholarly, pacific type, became inarticulate in its love affair with dynamite." (p. 147). Writing about a situation which preceded our times by a hundred years, Bergmann examined Nietzsche's reactions to steps that the United States has recently used against Osama bin Laden.
"Bismarck put increasing pressure on Switzerland. In August 1881 Swiss authorities expelled Kropotkin after his return from a much-publicized international anarchist congress in London. Six months before, the newly elected President of the Swiss Confederacy had committed suicide, stung, it was said, by charges of his former radical friends that he was bargaining away the historic rights of Swiss asylum." (p. 147).
Chapter One, "The Anti-Motif" is short.
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