Nietzsche has appealed to Americans on the right and left for over a century. They have looked past his dark reputation to remake the German philosopher in their own image
Many American politicians could find support for their ideas in Nietzsche. A Tea Party Republican might choose Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: ‘I, the state, am the people.’” A secular liberal could turn to the strident atheism of Beyond Good and Evil, while an unapologetic, Dick Cheney-style hawk would have plenty of quotes to choose from. What about, for starters, “You should be such men as are always looking for an enemy—for your enemy”?
by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen (University of Chicago Press, £19.50)