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What Nietzsche Really Said Paperback – January 30, 2001
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Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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"To be great," wrote the great Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is to be misunderstood." Excepting Sigmund Freud, no thinker in recent history has been more talked about and less understood than Friedrich Nietzsche. How can we -- soft-living members of the herd, untrained in the linguistic labyrinth of contemporary philosophy -- understand this complex author who wants to revolutionize our lives? We might begin with three seminal books. The third would be a reliable anthology of Nietzsche's writings, such as The Portable Nietzsche, edited by Walter Kaufmann. Second on my list is Neils Lyhne, by the Danish novelist Jens Peter Jacobsen (1847-1885), which dramatizes the continual conflicts of any 19th-Century man who dares to embrace atheism and shout that God is no longer with us. And firstly, we might begin with this new work by Solomon and Higgins, which may be -- for the student and general reader -- the most readable and interesting introduction to Nietzsche currently in print.
The book begins by blasting away thirty common rumors and misunderstandings about Nietzsche's life and work. With the air cleared, the authors provide guidelines for approaching a book by Nietzsche, then summarize the major books, then explore the quintessential Nietzschean themes. Nietzsche is better-known as a destroyer of values, but thankfully, Solomon and Higgins correct the picture by highlighting the affirmative values and ideas imbued in Nietzsche's work.Read more ›
The first half of the book directly comments on 30 such rumors: e.g., "Nietzsche was a Fascist," "Nietzsche Hated Jews," "Nietzsche was a Nihilist," etc.. The second part of the book has some features like "Nietzsche's Top Ten"--and also Nietzsche's bottom ten--where the authors present Nietzsche's opinions about other philosophers, like Socrates and Spinoza (Heraclitus is inexcusably absent). Then in the final part this book glosses over some other Nietzschean concepts such as the eternal return.
The entire book is an exercise in lost opportunities; the authors often (but hardly always) make correct claims, but the evidence they present is insubstantial. There is very little direct quotation of Nietzsche. For example, in the section where they try to destroy the rumor that "Nietzsche Hated Jews," the only evidence the authors present is a phrase from a letter Nietzsche wrote after he had gone insane. They had here the opportunity to present several Nietzschean quotations, from his books, which supported their point; but instead of getting right to the point and presenting Nietzsche's unequivocal rejection of anti-Semitism and of what he called the "race swindle," his admiration of the Jews, of the Old Testament, in his own words, this book just contains the aforementioned fragment and the authors' often confusing and poorly written commentary.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book excellent.
It's well written and presents mature philosophical thought and reflection. Read more
This book by Nietzsche "scholars" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is a complete con job. These "scholars" attempt to whitewash and sanitize Nietzsche. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Grindel
I found in this book the usual Solomon: fluent and elegant writing and idiosyncratic thinking. I feel his reading of Nietzsche to be somewhat misleading, although this may not be... Read morePublished on December 9, 2013 by Ronald Fernandez
"What Nietzsche Really Said," by Solomon and Higgins, is a great introduction and overview of main ideas/concepts in Nietzsche's philosophy. Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by Daniel
I suppose this was purported to be the Nietzsche For Dummies. It seems to me a jumble of teaching notes written for different purposes. Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by WhoAmI
If you want to know about Nietzsche, by all means read this book. But if you want to wake up your mind be sure and read this book. Read morePublished on November 7, 2012 by Susan
This is a quick read with plenty of information. So many people misunderstand Nietzsche, probably because he set out to be misunderstood by people who would not read him in... Read morePublished on October 11, 2010 by David Milliern