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Hiking with Nietzsche : On Becoming Who You Are
by John Kaag


Overview -

"A stimulating book about combating despair and complacency with searching reflection." --Heller McAlpin, NPR.org

Named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR. One of Lit Hub's 15 Books You Should Read in September and one of Outside 's Best Books of Fall

A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche

Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys--one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his wife and small child are in tow.  Read more...


 
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More About Hiking with Nietzsche by John Kaag
 
 
 
Overview

"A stimulating book about combating despair and complacency with searching reflection." --Heller McAlpin, NPR.org

Named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR. One of Lit Hub's 15 Books You Should Read in September and one of Outside's Best Books of Fall

A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche

Hiking with Nietzsche: Becoming Who You Are is a tale of two philosophical journeys--one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of nineteen, the other seventeen years later, in radically different circumstances: he is now a husband and father, and his wife and small child are in tow. Kaag sets off for the Swiss peaks above Sils Maria where Nietzsche wrote his landmark work Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Both of Kaag's journeys are made in search of the wisdom at the core of Nietzsche's philosophy, yet they deliver him to radically different interpretations and, more crucially, revelations about the human condition.

Just as Kaag's acclaimed debut, American Philosophy: A Love Story, seamlessly wove together his philosophical discoveries with his search for meaning, Hiking with Nietzsche is a fascinating exploration not only of Nietzsche's ideals but of how his experience of living relates to us as individuals in the twenty-first century. Bold, intimate, and rich with insight, Hiking with Nietzsche is about defeating complacency, balancing sanity and madness, and coming to grips with the unobtainable. As Kaag hikes, alone or with his family, but always with Nietzsche, he recognizes that even slipping can be instructive. It is in the process of climbing, and through the inevitable missteps, that one has the chance, in Nietzsche's words, to "become who you are."


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374170011
  • ISBN-10: 0374170010
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publish Date: September 2018
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Philosophy > Individual Philosophers
Books > Travel > Special Interest - Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Hiking with Nietzsche

The calming repetition of putting one foot in front of the other innately lends itself to philosophical thought, particularly while experiencing the natural beauty of the great outdoors. In Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are, John Kaag (American Philosophy: A Love Story) retraces the contemplative journeys through the Sils region of Switzerland he took as a 19-year-old and the return trip he made at 37 with his wife and young daughter in tow.

As a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Kaag has the perfect resume for this type of introspective blend of memoir and biography. As a young man, he was drawn to the Swiss village of Sils-Maria because it was a favorite spot of 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Kaag cleverly connects Nietzsche’s musings with his own experiences both past and present, detailing how his understanding of Nietzsche has evolved and changed over the 17 years between his trips to Switzerland. He pairs breathtaking descriptions of the Sils region with Nietzsche’s fascinating personal history, providing a unique, engaging narrative.

Kaag delves deep into his own past and his path to a philosophical profession, revealing painful details about his absent father and his brush with an eating disorder. Ultimately, Kaag discovers that it is OK to get out of one’s comfort zone, make mistakes and learn from them—in Nietzsche’s words, to “become who you are.”

As Kaag notes, philosophers “have always thought on their feet,” citing examples of “great wanderer-thinkers” such as Jesus, Rousseau, Wordsworth, Emerson and Thoreau. With Hiking with Nietzsche, Kaag can now add his own name to the list of thoughtful wanderers.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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