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The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche Paperback – June 1, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

H. L. Mencken was a journalist in the first half of the 20th century, reporting on social and political matters such as the Scopes Trial. He was the editor of The Smart Set and The American Mercury and the author of over two dozen books, including The American Language, Happy Days, Newspaper Days, and Heather Days. He was also the translator of Nietzsche's The Anti-Christ.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: See Sharp Press (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884365310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884365317
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #570,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Impressive and disturbing, much like All Quiet on the Western Front.
brian littel
Mencken also mentions such notable evolutionists and Social Darwinians as Haeckel, Darwin, T. H. Huxley, and Herbert Spencer in this respect.
New Age of Barbarism
It looks like the footnotes are on the kindle edition, but not the print edition(I purchased both).
Proofessor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Kinnison on March 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
The first thing that needs to be said about this book is that, as an exposition of Nietzsche's philosophy, it's profoundly flawed. Of course it doesn't claim to be exhaustively comprehensive, and today most of its readers will be drawn as much to the author and his interpretation as to the subject itself. But here the interpretation effectively buries the subject. In his own lifetime Nietzsche observed that in most cases "whoever thought he had understood something of me had made up something out of me after his own image (Ecce Homo III I)," and such is the case of Mencken.

Symptomatic of this is Mencken's tendency to blithely dismiss (as "sheer lunacy", p.85, or "absurd", p.154) whatever in Nietzsche he fails to properly understand or finds to be at odds with his own reading. But the main problem is not so much in this, nor in his omissions, nor in his over-simplifications, nor even in his errors as such; as the introduction quite rightly notes, Mencken is "dead wrong" in equating Nietzsche's will to power with Schopenhauer's will to existence. The real problem is that, in so thoroughly misunderstanding this & other such key aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy, Mencken inevitably, and substantially, misunderstands that philosophy as a whole.

In this particular case, whereas a -higher- and -fuller- existence is seen by Nietzsche as the aim of the will to power, and hence the greatest good, Mencken's misinterpretation takes existence in itself to be the goal (eg, pp.81-83) and thereby interprets the overman as the man most fit to survive the Darwinian struggle for existence (pp.67, 79, etc.).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
As an example of H.L. Mencken's nascency as a serious writer and critic, this biography of the philosopher Nietzsche is invaluable to anyone interested in the writings of either man. The introduction by the editor is insightfully critical but does fail to emphasize the context in which Mencken himself held certain views controversial by today's accepted standards. Mencken's interpretations of Nietzsche's ideas tend toward social Darwinism. Especially where he is writing about the early life of Nietzsche, Mencken's outline is better than any other book in English on the subject. But Mencken mixes and matches concepts arising from Dionysus and Apollo too loosely, sometimes to the point of miscomprehension of Nietzsche's position, and sometimes by using their Roman name equivalents. All in all, Mencken is thorough, conscientious and clear in his expose on the great German philosopher.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have read this in German and in English - the translation is excellent, unlike many others which soften or "civilize" war stories. This is no "All Quiet on the Western Front", where recent ex-school boys are the principals. Most of the enlisted men are grown men, and have less fervor than the youth in Remarque's WW I novel. The ruthless "take very few prisoners" attitudes of Germans and of Russians add realism, pessimism, and terror to this story, as do the weight of years of WW I and WW II experience of Brandt, Fetscher, and Major Vogel in particular. As a former infantry enlisted man and officer, I see the reality of Steiner trusting only Senior Regimental Sergeant Major Fetscher among all of the rest. Unless one has knowledge of the history of the World War II Eastern Front and of the geography of southwestern Russia (the Black Sea area of Tuapse, the Kuban, and the Crimea), having a good map at hand and some reading (such as Seaton's book) will help in appreciating the distances and terrains involved.A terrifying look at grown men in fear, who doubt and yet hope. Both Heinrich and Remarque personally lived through the worlds of their books; their books are real.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D Aitch on March 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was a really excellent book. Begins as an interesting run and hide adventure behind the Soviet lines, then really gets rolling when the main character, Sergeant Steiner, and crew return to German controlled territory. Steiner is a taciturn but resourceful leader, haunted by private demons, who works best alone, but can lead his friends out of virtually any trap. Steiner's stubborn loner tendencies often do him more harm than good, particularly in his interactions with superiors. Steiner's battalion commander, the cowardly Stransky, resents Steiner as everything he is not, privately fears him, and is a cunning, manipulative villian who is easy to hate. Stransky's boss, the regimental commander, is placed in the role of being arbiter between good (Steiner) and evil (Stransky). Even if you don't like the Germans much, you wind up rooting for Steiner and pals to make it. Lots of interesting minor players. The end becomes easy to guess, but this doesn't change its emotional impact. A really excellent book
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By cindy.langley@networkmci.com on July 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
Heinrich's anti-hero, sgt. Steiner leads his platoon through Soviet line to the relative safety of the German lines in the Kerch penninsula. The novel shows the Russo-German conflict for what it was - brutal, heartless, and desperate. Not only do Steiner and his men have to fight the identifiable enemy but they must fight against the enemy within their own ranks. Glory-seeking officers, die-hard Nazis, and the malaise that envelopes all when exposed to the brutal horrors of combat at its most most primitive. Telling is the section where Steiner is sent back to "civilization." Heinrich's book is a must for those who enjoy historical fiction and military fiction. It enlightens a part of the war about which most Americans know little.
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