American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen

By Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen

Should you have been searching for a thinker more likely to attract americans, Friedrich Nietzsche will be faraway from your first selection. in any case, in his blazing profession, Nietzsche took goal at approximately all of the 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 strangely 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 charm. 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 beaches on the flip of the 20th century, and the way they endured alternately to invigorate and to surprise american citizens for the century to come back. She additionally delineates the wider highbrow and cultural contexts during which a wide range 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 thought from Nietzsche’s claims for the dying of God, his problem to common fact, and his insistence at the interpretive nature of all human idea and ideology. whilst, she explores how his snapshot as an iconoclastic immoralist was once placed to paintings in American pop culture, making Nietzsche an not likely posthumous superstar in a position to inspiring either kids and students alike.

A penetrating exam of a strong yet little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American idea and tradition, American Nietzsche dramatically recasts our knowing of yankee highbrow life—and places Nietzsche squarely at its center.

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Photograph by the author. 15. Smith, Public Hospital, Williamsburg. Plan and elevation, probably drawn by A. Dickie Galt, superintendent of the Eastern State Hospital for the Insane, successor to the Public Hospital. Courtesy of the Library of Virginia. Transforming the Treatment effluvia and foul emanations. But since the primary purpose of this asylum was to confine, the builders used single rooms. Single cells also appear in private asylums as a luxury that afforded more privacy, but here they were akin to prison cells.

The northern, public side of Bethlem was pressed up against the street, presenting a rank of windows to the city outside. 11 Lewis’s building, then, is the one nineteenth-century American alienists visited and, almost universally, condemned. Asylums presented an architectural paradox. 2. James Lewis, New Bethlem, London, 1815. Courtesy of Wellcome Library, London. :: 20 :: Transforming the Treatment constraints of the state. On the other hand, they might better offer magnificence, thereby enhancing the hospital’s status in society and enticing the public to respect them as civic enterprises.

It is the equivalent of a modern amusement park ride, and its purpose was to divert the patients from negative thoughts. In addition to these rides, hospitals for the insane included billiard tables in the dayrooms and croquet courts on the lawns; some even offered nine-hole golf courses. All these amusements were considered part of successful moral management, and doctors lobbied for their inclusion in state hospitals throughout the nineteenth century. However, state lawmakers were not always sympathetic.

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