Friday, January 20, 2012

Mr. Nice Guy

Writing in City Journal, Fred Siegel reviews a new book on Nietzsche:

Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen’s American Nietzsche is a 464-page footnote to Alan Bloom’s comment in The Closing of the American Mind that American readings of the German philosopher have produced “nihilism with a happy ending.” Her sense of Nietzsche is based heavily on the writings of the German-born Princeton scholar Walter Kaufmann, famed for softening the philospher of theübermensch’s writings. Like the apologists for jihad who portray it as an internal quest for purification, advocates for Nietzsche acrobatically rope off his praise for war and cruelty as matters of spiritual struggle.

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