Friedrich Nietzsche (Critical Lives) (Paperback)

Friedrich Nietzsche (Critical Lives) By Ritchie Robertson Cover Image
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An accessible and informative study of the life and work of this vaunted German philosopher.
In this concise yet comprehensive critical biography, Ritchie Robertson examines the work of Friedrich Nietzsche within the context of his life. The book traces Nietzsche’s development from outstanding classical scholar to cultural critic, who measured Imperial Germany by the standards of ancient Greece. It follows him on his path from a prophet (in the persona of Zarathustra) to a savage polemicist against modern liberal values, offering a “philosophy of the future.” Robertson argues that Nietzsche’s middle-period writings offer a subtle and searching analysis of his culture, more rewarding than the strident and often-controversial later works. The book also assesses Nietzsche’s claim to be continuing the Enlightenment and shows that he valued reason, evidence, and fact, without which his historical case against Christianity would make no sense.

About the Author

Ritchie Robertson is a fellow of the Queen’s College, Oxford, and the Emeritus Schwarz-Taylor Professor of German at the University of Oxford. His books include Goethe: A Very Short Introduction and The Enlightenment: The Pursuit of Happiness, 1680–1790.

Praise For…

"[Nietzsche's] unclubbable character emerges amply from Ritchie Robertson’s lucid, balanced biography, a study that responds to both parts of its remit as a 'critical life.'"
— Times Literary Supplement

“As an introduction to Nietzsche, [the book] captures the shape of his intellectual thinking . . . and offers interesting insights into why so many readers have engaged with Nietzsche . . . thrilled by the breaking of traditions but frightened by the implications.”
— Gay and Lesbian Review

“Robertson is a good storyteller and an erudite scholar, and one can certainly learn many historical facts about Nietzsche and his times by reading this enjoyable book.”
— Los Angeles Review of Books

"Robertson’s Friedrich Nietzsche is destined to become the best short introduction to the life and writings of the philosopher. Robertson is not a Nietzsche apologist; he faces squarely and honestly Nietzsche’s shortcomings. . . . But at the same time he recognizes Nietzsche’s importance for the history of philosophy and his seminal role in challenging the assumptions and easy truths of his predecessors. This type of balanced and informed account is rare in Nietzsche scholarship, and Robertson’s scrupulous incorporation of previous research and exceptionally lucid prose make this book all the more welcome as an introductory study."
— Robert C. Holub, Ohio Eminent Scholar, professor, and chair of German languages and literatures, Ohio State University
Product Details
ISBN: 9781789146066
ISBN-10: 1789146062
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publication Date: September 23rd, 2022
Pages: 224
Series: Critical Lives