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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Editors' Choice

A groundbreaking new biography of philosophy’s greatest iconoclast.

Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most enigmatic figures in philosophy, and his concepts - the Übermensch, the will to power, slave morality - have fundamentally reshaped our understanding of the human condition. But what do most people really know of Nietzsche - beyond the mustache, the scowl, and the lingering association with nihilism and fascism? Where do we place a thinker who was equally beloved by Albert Camus, Ayn Rand, Martin Buber, and Adolf Hitler?

Nietzsche wrote that all philosophy is autobiographical, and in this vividly compelling, myth-shattering biography, Sue Prideaux brings listeners into the world of this brilliant, eccentric, and deeply troubled man, illuminating the events and people that shaped his life and work. From his placid, devoutly Christian upbringing - overshadowed by the mysterious death of his father - through his teaching career, lonely philosophizing on high mountains, and heart-breaking descent into madness, Prideaux documents Nietzsche’s intellectual and emotional life with a novelist’s insight and sensitivity.

She also produces unforgettable portraits of the people who were most important to him, including Richard and Cosima Wagner; Lou Salomé, the femme fatale who broke his heart; and his sister, Elizabeth, a rabid German nationalist and anti-Semite who manipulated his texts and turned the Nietzsche archive into a destination for Nazi ideologues.  

I Am Dynamite! is the essential biography for anyone seeking to understand history's most misunderstood philosopher.

©2018 Sue Prideaux (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“An exemplary biography.... Nietzsche steps out of the mists of obfuscation and rumor, vividly evoked.... An attentive, scrupulous portrait.” (Parul Seghal, The New York Times

“This vibrant account of Friedrich Nietzsche’s life is a searching portrait of the philosopher and a keen assessment of his work.... Nietzsche often worried that he would be misread and misused; that he was, and still is, underlines the value of clear-eyed interpretations such as this.” (The New Yorker

"Prideaux’s biography is a strikingly original portrait of Nietzsche and beautifully written." (Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad

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