A great American journalist interprets a misunderstood German philosopherThe first book on Nietzsche ever to appear in English, this examination by legendary journalist H. L. Mencken is still one of the most enlightening. Mencken wrote this book while still in his 20s, but his penchant for thoroughness was evident even at that young age—in preparation for writing this book, he read Nietzsche's works in their entirety, mostly in the original German. A brief biographical sketch is followed by clear and thorough explanations of Nietzsche's basic concepts and attitudes. Analyzed are Nietzsche's much-misunderstood concept of the superman, his concept of eternal recurrence, his rejection of Christianity, and his basic rationalism and materialism. Included are two essays on Nietzsche that appeared in Mencken's magazine The Smart Set subsequent to the publishing of the original edition of this book. Nearly a century after its original publication, this remains one of the clearest, most concise, and entertaining introductions to Nietzsche to date.
Author BiographyH. L. Mencken was a journalist in the first half of the 20th century, reporting on social and political matters such as the Scopes Trial. He was the editor of The Smart Set and The American Mercury and the author of over two dozen books, including The American Language, Happy Days, Newspaper Days, and Heather Days. He was also the translator of Nietzsche's The Anti-Christ.