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Nietzsche fans would also like "Jenna's Flaw"
on January 9, 2004
This book makes sense of a VERY misunderstood philosopher. Solomon and Higgins debunk thirty myths about Nietzsche--a much needed task, to say the least. Did Nietzsche hate Jews? No. Was he a Nazi? No. Did he believe in truth? Yes, but not in an "absolute" sense of the word. Did he hate Christianity? Well, that depends; he hated parts of it, especially its nihilistic morality, yet he admired Jesus.
The book then launches into Nietzsche's big ideas: The Will to Power, the Death of God, the Ubermensch. Finally, it ends on Nietzsche's importance for today.
'What Nietzsche Really Said' is a good book for someone who is coming to Neitzsche for the first time. It's also a nice summary for the seasoned reader of Nietzsce. The language is simple, and Nietzsche's ideas are broken down into mentally digestible pieces.
The book is also a corrective to religious conservatives who think Nietzsche was "evil" and wanted to "destroy" Western civilization. This is nonsense. Nietzsche cared deeply about theology and about how humans should live in the wake of God's death. If God is dead, humans are still alive. Consequently, we should take life more seriously and be *more* moral than we were before the death of God. Enter the Ubermensch. Nietzsche didn't want to destroy Western civilization; he wanted to save it.
Nietzsche was a good man and a good philosopher. He's not always a pleasant read, not just becasue of his difficult prose, but more becasue of what he says. Yet the man had enough honesty to face the hard facts of life and, perhaps most of all, to do something about it--that is, to live gracefully after God's funeral.
Also recommended: "Jenna's Flaw," a novel about Friedrich Nietzsche, the death of God, the crumbling of Western civilization, and what the West can do to stop it.