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German philosopher and self-proclaimed nihilist Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche stands out as a furious, explosive thinker who repeatedly pulled apart the certainties of the nineteenth century and whose writings attract, astonish, and unsettle readers to this day. This volume offers a selection of Nietzsche's writings, all newly translated by the author, that facilitate an understanding and discussion of his philosophies, style, and influence. In an engaging and accessible introduction, Peter Fritzsche familiarizes students with elements key to Nietzsche's thought and his extraordinary intellectual and political influence: his condemnation of the nineteenth century as degenerate and uncreative; his rejection of Christianity, democracy, and socialism; his belief that all cultures are founded on lies and illusions; and his conviction that individuals should seek to overcome convention and morality in order to create themselves as supermen. Document headnotes give students background and guidance in reading Nietzsche's writings, and a chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography provide additional pedagogical support.
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PETER FRITZSCHE (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he served as chair of the history department from 2000 to 2005. A social and cultural historian of Modern Europe, Professor Fritzsche has written five books: Stranded in the Present (2004), Germans into Nazis (1998), Reading Berlin 1900 (1996), A Nation of Fliers (1992), and Rehearsals for Fascism (1990). He is also a former Guggenheim and Humboldt fellow.Review:
"An impressive and, in many ways, original reading of Nietzsche as a prophet of freedom, experimentation, and self-invention. Peter Fritzsche has provided an excellent selection of texts and a compelling introduction, which highlight Nietzsche's continuing relevance for contemporary life and thought." --George S. Williamson, University of Alabama
"A tour de force of Nietzsche interpretation and explanation.... Professor Fritzsche has done the field a great service, setting forth the incomparable range of Nietzsche's ideas while giving students and instructors clear historical, biographical, and cultural guidelines for exploring it." --David B. Dennis, Loyola University, Chicago
"A useful collection for undergraduate teaching that brings together Nietzsche's most critical works with an excellent introduction that is helpful to nonspecialists and students alike." --Michele Strong, George Mason University
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