Latest Issue

America’s Superman

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

By Adam Kirsch   December 2011

Read more: Wittgenstein’s forgotten lesson

American Nietzsche by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen (University of Chicago Press, £19.50)

A famous moment in the career of George W Bush came in 1999, during an early debate in the Republican presidential primary. Asked to name his favourite political philosopher, Bush said “Jesus”—a tactically perfect answer that led to much copying by the other candidates.

Perhaps the question was not really fair. If any candidate had said John Locke or Thomas Jefferson, little light would have been shed on his actual policies; and he would certainly have been tagged as elitist. But imagine what would happen if…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect