By Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen
In the event you have been trying to find a thinker prone to attract american citizens, Friedrich Nietzsche will be faraway from your first selection. in the end, in his blazing profession, Nietzsche took objective at approximately the entire foundations of recent American existence: Christian morality, the Enlightenment religion in cause, and the belief of human equality. regardless of that, for greater than a century Nietzsche has been a highly popular—and unusually influential—figure in American idea and tradition.
In American Nietzsche, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen delves deeply into Nietzsche's philosophy, and America’s reception of it, to inform the tale of his curious allure. starting her account with Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche learn fervently, she indicates how Nietzsche’s rules first burst on American seashores on the flip of the 20th century, and the way they persevered alternately to invigorate and to surprise american citizens for the century to come back. She additionally delineates the wider highbrow and cultural contexts in which a big selection 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 perception and proposal from Nietzsche’s claims for the loss of life of God, his problem to common fact, and his insistence at the interpretive nature of all human suggestion and ideology. even as, she explores how his picture as an iconoclastic immoralist used to be positioned to paintings in American pop culture, making Nietzsche an not going posthumous big name in a position to inspiring either young ones and students alike.
A penetrating exam of a strong yet little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American concept and tradition, American Nietzsche dramatically recasts our figuring out of yankee highbrow life—and places Nietzsche squarely at its center.
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Extra resources for American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas
It is absurd, however, to pretend that they do not exist. At its most superficial, British anti-Americanism consists in rather unreflective, often comic, stereotyping. British commentators frequently write about Americans as creatures from another planet. ’ (Critchley, 1991). A key feature of such comment is the implied conclusion that failure to appreciate the joke simply confirms American humourlessness. Due to their exposure to US popular culture and to political reporting on the US, British students tend to approach the study of America in a confident frame of mind, albeit one filled with the familiar stereotypes.
The British seem especially uninterested in electoral politics at either the local or transnational (European) level. Where nearly half of all Americans attend regular church services, only 14 per cent of Britons are regular, weekly attenders (Lipset, 1996, 61). At least two major international surveys in the 1990s suggested that Americans were high among the most religious people in the world, with depth and breadth of religious belief exceeding those of even countries such as Ireland and Poland, much less Britain (Huntington, 2005, 90).
A 1994 poll, taken on the fiftieth anniversary of D-Day asked both the British and American public to name the nation – the US, the USSR or the Transatlantic Attitudes 27 UK – which had contributed most to victory in the Second World War. Britons voted 18 per cent for the US, nine per cent for the Soviet Union and 37 for the UK. Americans opted 13 per cent for Britain, 11 for the USSR and 65 per cent for America. When, also in 1994, Americans were asked whether they thought Britain spied on the US, 43 per cent replied in the affirmative (the figure for Japan was 79 per cent); 17 per cent felt that the Central Intelligence Agency should spy on Britain (The Gallup Poll 1983, 99; 1985, 21; 1996, 251; 1995, 93, 37).
American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen