American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas

  • Share this:
Share with a friend
Sign into your email account to send this page to a friend:
Outlook or Apple Mail
or other default program
Walmart Gift Card
Put the fun of shopping in their hands with Walmart Gift Cards! Ship to Home or Send via email.
Advertisement
Advertisement

American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas

Format:  Hardcover,

452 pages

Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr

Publish Date: Nov 2011

ISBN-13: 9780226705811

ISBN-10: 0226705811

Buy from Walmart

Shipping & Pickup
Online
$20.01

In stock for:

  • Store information not available.

 Buy from Marketplace

Shipping & Additional Information

Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.

If you were looking for a philosopher likely to appeal to Americans, Friedrich Nietzsche would be far from your first choice. After all, in his blazing career, Nietzsche took aim at nearly all the foundations of modern American life: Christian morality, the Enlightenment faith in reason, and the idea of human equality. Despite that, for more than a century Nietzsche has been a hugely popular--and surprisingly influential--figure in American thought and culture.
In "American Nietzsche," Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen delves deeply into Nietzsche's philosophy, and America's reception of it, to tell the story of his curious appeal. Beginning her account with Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche read fervently, she shows how Nietzsche's ideas first burst on American shores at the turn of the twentieth century, and how they continued alternately to invigorate and to shock Americans for the century to come. She also delineates the broader intellectual and cultural contexts within which a wide array of commentators--academic and armchair philosophers, theologians and atheists, romantic poets and hard-nosed empiricists, and political ideologues and apostates from the Left and the Right--drew insight and inspiration from Nietzsche's claims for the death of God, his challenge to universal truth, and his insistence on the interpretive nature of all human thought and beliefs. At the same time, she explores how his image as an iconoclastic immoralist was put to work in American popular culture, making Nietzsche an unlikely posthumous celebrity capable of inspiring both teenagers and scholars alike.
A penetrating examination of a powerful but little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American thought and culture, "American Nietzsche" dramatically recasts our understanding of American intellectual life--and puts Nietzsche squarely at its heart.

Specifications

Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Publish Date: Nov 2011
ISBN-13: 9780226705811
ISBN-10: 0226705811
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 452
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.65
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.0 x 9.0 x 1.25
Walmart No.: 9780226705811

Chapter outline

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Prologue: Transatlantic Crossings: The Aboriginal Intellect Abroadp. 1
Introductionp. 21
The Making of the American Nietzschep. 29
Nietzsche and the European Axis of American Cosmopolitanismp. 35
The Nietzsche Voguep. 45
The Persona of Nietzschep. 51
Launching "Nietzschean" and "Nietzscheism" into American Englishp. 67
The Soul of Man under Modernityp. 69
Nietzsche and the Problems of Modern Thoughtp. 75
Unapologetic Catholic Apologeticsp. 80
The Social Gospel and the Practicability of Christianityp. 87
Nietzsche's Service to Christianityp. 94
Jesus of Nazareth, Nietzsche of Naumburgp. 99
The American Naturalization of the bermenschp. 109
The bermensch in the Popular Imaginationp. 112
Self-Overcoming and Social Upliftp. 116
Modern Whirl and Romantic Self-Abandonmentp. 126
The bermensch and the German National Mindp. 132
The bermensch at War and the "Made in Germany" Generationp. 136
To Each His Own bermenschp. 144
Nietzsche as Educatorp. 149
Experiencing Intellect; or, World-Making Wordsp. 154
Imitatio Nietzschep. 167
The "Gay Science" of Cultural Criticismp. 176
The Modern Intellect and Prophetic Longingp. 190
INTERLUDE: Devotions: The Lettersp. 193
Nietzsche Possession, Possessing Nietzschep. 199
Nietzschean Self-Fashioningp. 203
Nietzsche Pilgrimagep. 209
Pathos of Distance from Democratic Culturep. 210
Dionysian Enlightenmentp. 219
Walter Kaufmann, German migrs, and Nietzsche as Hider's Exilep. 224
Nietzsche as Problem Thinkerp. 233
Nietzsche and the Nazisp. 239
Nietzschean Experimentalism and Jamesian Pragmatismp. 244
Counter-Dionysian Enlightenmentsp. 250
Kaufmann's Nietzsche for All and Nonep. 260
Antifoundationalism on Native Groundsp. 263
Harold Bloom: The Quest for Emersonian Priorityp. 274
Richard Rorty: Fusing the Horizons between Nietzsche and the Pragmatistsp. 285
Stanley Cavell: Nietzsche, Emerson, and American Philosophy Finding Its Way Homep. 295
Thinking about American Thinkingp. 304
Epilogue: Nietzsche Is Usp. 307
Acknowledgmentsp. 313
Notesp. 321
Bibliographyp. 387
Indexp. 443

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2011-10-01)

In Ratner-Rosenhagen's (history, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) examination of Nietzsche's influence on America, it is surprising to read how many scholars, political activists, ministers, and everyday citizens were influenced by his ideas. She explains that her book is not about Nietzsche disciples in the United States but instead about how his philosophy helped challenge and influence the ideas of a diverse group of Americans. She looks at why each group or individual was drawn to Nietzsche's attack on universal truths and morality, and how they used his writings to support and develop their own philosophy, belief system, or 'cause. While it's not surprising that he influenced philosophers and literary critics like Walter Kaufmann and Harold Bloom, the sections on his influence on figures like Jack London and Huey P. Newton are insightful and intriguing.

Verdict: Ratner-Rosenhagen's skillful combining of historical research and philosophical analysis in a way that is both accessible and informative makes this book a pleasure to read. Highly recommended for scholars and general readers interested in Nietzsche's philosophical legacy or America's intellectual history.

-Scott Duimstra, Capital Area Dist. Lib., Lansing, MI

(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

If you were looking for a philosopher likely to appeal to Americans, Friedrich Nietzsche would be far from your first choice. After all, in his blazing career, Nietzsche took aim at nearly all the foundations of modern American life: Christian morality, the Enlightenment faith in reason, and the idea of human equality. Despite that, for more than a century Nietzsche has been a hugely popular—and surprisingly influential—figure in American thought and culture.

In American Nietzsche, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen delves deeply into Nietzsche's philosophy, and America’s reception of it, to tell the story of his curious appeal. Beginning her account with Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche read fervently, she shows how Nietzsche’s ideas first burst on American shores at the turn of the twentieth century, and how they continued alternately to invigorate and to shock Americans for the century to come. She also delineates the broader intellectual and cultural contexts within which a wide array of commentators—academic and armchair philosophers, theologians and atheists, romantic poets and hard-nosed empiricists, and political ideologues and apostates from the Left and the Right—drew insight and inspiration from Nietzsche’s claims for the death of God, his challenge to universal truth, and his insistence on the interpretive nature of all human thought and beliefs. At the same time, she explores how his image as an iconoclastic immoralist was put to work in American popular culture, making Nietzsche an unlikely posthumous celebrity capable of inspiring both teenagers and scholars alike.

A penetrating examination of a powerful but little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American thought and culture, American Nietzsche dramatically recasts our understanding of American intellectual life—and puts Nietzsche squarely at its heart.

Customer Product Reviews

 

Gifting Plans

Financing Offers

Make the most of your shopping experience with the Walmart® MasterCard® or Walmart Credit Card.

Save $25 when you open a Walmart® Credit Card and spend $75 today.*

*Offer subject to credit approval

Learn More or Apply Now