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Nietzsche: The Man and his Philosophy 2nd Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521002950
ISBN-10: 0521002958
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Editorial Reviews


"For a third of a century, Hollingdale's reliable, learned, reasonable, and above all deeply humane biography of Nietzsche has provided English-language students with a trustworthy guide to the life of one of the most important thinkers of modern times and a helpful introduction to the development of his thought. This new edition, revised in style and corrected and updated in context throughout, and furnished with a new preface and an important appendix supplying an overview of recent developments in scholarship on Nietzsche, should equip new generations of students with the orientation, understanding, and critical sympathy they will need to face the challenges posed to the contemporary world by Nietzsche, and by those who claim to represent him." Glenn W. Most, The University of Chicago

"Mr. Hollingdale has written a scholarly and attractive study of both the man and his work. It enables us to see Nietzsche against his own background; and to see how he was converted into a prophet being of the Nazi movement." Hugh Trevor-Roper, New Statesman

"The best extended defence of Nietzsche that I have read; a scholarly biography used as the groundwork for a piece of spirited partisanship. Mr. Hollingdale writes extremely well, and he never fails to make his subjects at the very least, endlessly interesting." Philip Toynbee, Observer

"An admirable work. Mr. Hollingdale gives an impartial account of Nietzsche's life and writings and shows the reader how to make his way through the maze of controversial literature. His thorough analysis of Nietzsche's writing, his illuminating translations of key passages, and his generous acknowledgements of previous commentators make his book a reliable and stimulating guide to the strange, formidable, unhappy figure depicted in it." H.B. Acton, The Listener

"...a superb book to introduce students to Nietzsche...clear, sensitive and intelligent." Stephen Houlgate, University of Warwick

"The notes and index are especially helpful and, together with Breazeale's introduction...makes this edition much more valuable for scholarship than the last." W.C.D., Ethics

Book Description

This classic biography of Nietzsche was first published in the 1960s and was enthusiastically reviewed at the time. In the years that have passed the secondary literature on Nietzsche has expanded enormously and yet this biography remains the single best account of the life and works for the student or non-specialist. Long out of print the biography is now reissued with its text updated in light of modern research. R. J. Hollingdale, one of the preeminent translators of Nietzsche, integrates his philosophical evolution into a consideration of his life. This is the ideal book for anyone interested in Nietzsche's life and work to learn why he is such a significant figure for the development of modern thought.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (April 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521002958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521002950
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Hollingdale's biography/analysis of Nietzsche and his philosophy was an unexpected delight. I had already read Walter Kaufmann's translations of Nietzsche's major works when I came upon Hollingdale's volume; expecting little, I was amazed at the additional insights the author offered into Nietzsche's thought and world outlook. I would recommend this book to anyone who is new to Nietzsche - who would like to learn something of his philosophy, but who has held back because they feel Nietzsche, and perhaps, philosophy in general, is too remote or difficult.
Believe me, Hollingdale's volume will usher you, gently, into Nietzsche's world, and make you hungry for more. Nietzsche, himself, in "Thus Spake Zarathustra" had his protaganist announce, "I am the railing by the rushing torrent - grasp me if you can; your crutch I am not!" Like Nietzsche, Hollingdale does not seek disciples -- he explains the basic concepts of Nietzsche's philosophy with cool detachment, and offers them to the reader as a launchpad from which the reader can, if he/she wishes, soar, exploring Nietzsche's world for themselves, drawing their own conclusions. Nietzsche, the enemy of blind adherence, would have heartily approved such an approach. This is the man who said, "if you wish to strive after peace of soul and happiness, then believe; if you wish to be a disciple of truth, then inquire!" Enjoy the Journey!
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Format: Hardcover
Hollingdale worked side by side with the dean of all Nietzsche scholars, Walter Kaufmann, for many years. His biography of Nietzsche parallels Kaufmann's groundbreaking study "Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist", a watershed in American Nietzsche scholarship. While Kaufmann's work has been eclipsed (see R. Schacht's "Nietzsche") in terms of philosophical sophistication, Holligdale's biography of Nietzsche remains the very best in detail, breadth, cogency, and intimacy. Its style is unobtrusive and flowing, making it easily accessible to both the everyday reader and the student of the history of ideas. It is indispensible to anyone with even the slightest interest in Nietzsche.
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By A Customer on June 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
R.J. Hollingdale's seminal work continues to dazzle in this dumbed down age. Thank goodness it has been made available for a new generation, hungry for such intellectual gems. This work puts in the shadow Nietzche commentators before and since. If you are serious about learning, not only about Nietzche, but about Western thought in general, then this book is a must.
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Format: Paperback
this book should prove useful for readers looking for a well-written, intelligent, and accessible introduction to this often very difficult and enigmatic thinker. hollingdale tackles head on many common misconceptions of nietzsche (i.e. that he was a nihilist, an anti-semite, a fascist) through the use of extensive quotes and poignant commentary. we see the development of his thought, from his youthful admiration of wagner and schopenhauer, through to his mature explications of the idea of life as will to power, and the theme of eternal recurrence. for the disciplined student this book proves to be of great value as well, offering insights into the personality of the man himself, through numerous letters and recollections from those who knew him most intimately. this is a great biography, respectful and humane, but also willing to acknowledge nietzsche's shortcomings and possible confusions as to his own state of mind and health.
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Format: Paperback
This book does exactly what its title suggests: it provides an excellent overview of Nietzsche's philosophy and how it relates to the events of Nietzsche's life. It does this so clearly and concisely that Hollingdale's voice and methods are almost as engaging as the subject matter he illuminates. Reading "Nietzsche: The Man and His Philosophy" is like being invited into the study of a first-class Nietzsche scholar for a rigorous and no-nonsense discussion of the master's thought. The book moves gracefully between the details of Nietzsche's day-to-day existence- his childhood, student years, time as a professor, life as an itinerant philosopher, and finally his breakdown and subsequent insanity- and his parallel philosophical output. As a result, the reader leaves Hollingdale's work with a much clearer sense of the general arc of Nietzsche's philosophical development- from a young philology professor under the spell of Wagner and Schopenhauer to a mature, fully-realized thinker whose philosophy represents one of the greatest examples of Western thought's transition to modernity.

In addition to providing a detailed account of Nietzsche's personal life, Hollingdale explains Nietzsche's most important thoughts (e.g. the will to power, the eternal recurrence, the revaluation of values, etc.) mostly by quoting Nietzsche himself. This is both illuminating and in stark contrast to many other Nietzsche commentaries (e.g. books by Heidegger, Derrida, Deleuze), which, although important in their own rite, use Nietzsche as a springboard for their authors' own ideas instead of attempting to clarify what Nietzsche actually said. For students who are looking for an exposition of Nietzsche's thought that is based closely on his actual texts, Hollingdale's work is the best one out there.
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