Nietzsche and race

Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Sylvia Gorelick (2023)
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The caricature of Friedrich Nietzsche as a proto-Nazi is still with us. Behind this caricature sits a long history of misreading and deception, including the well-known story of Nietzsche's Nazi sister, Elisabeth Förster, who took over Nietzsche's work when he became catatonic and systematized a disparate set of texts as The Will to Power. Despite much remarkable work by scholars to debunk the idea that Nietzsche was a racist, or an anti-Semite, or both, this view continues to influence much of the popular perception of Nietzsche and his work. In Nietzsche and Race, Marc de Launay, editor of the Pléiade edition of Nietzsche's writings, deftly counters this persistent narrative in a series of concise and highly accessible reflections on the concept of "race" in Nietzsche's published writings, notebooks, and correspondence. De Launay relates these discussions of race to the central themes of Nietzsche's philosophical project, definitively showing how Nietzsche's use of the term "race" simply does not map onto "racism" in any of the ways his detractors have claimed.



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