Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
Pages: 160
Publication Date: December 15, 2015

Anti-EducationOn the Future of Our Educational Institutions

by Friedrich Nietzsche, edited with an introduction and notes by Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon, translated from the German by Damion Searls

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AN NYRB Classics Original

In 1869, at the age of twenty-four, the precociously brilliant Friedrich Nietzsche was appointed to a professorship of classical philology at the University of Basel. He seemed marked for a successful and conventional academic career. Then the philosophy of Schopenhauer and the music of Wagner transformed his ambitions. The genius of such thinkers and makers—the kind of genius that had emerged in ancient Greece—this alone was the touchstone for true understanding. But how was education to serve genius, especially in a modern society marked more and more by an unholy alliance between academic specialization, mass-market journalism, and the militarized state? Something more than sturdy scholarship was called for. A new way of teaching and questioning, a new philosophy . . .

What that new way might be was the question Nietzsche broached in five vivid, popular public lectures in Basel in 1872. Anti-Education presents a provocative and timely reckoning with what remains one of the central challenges of the modern world.

by Friedrich Nietzsche, introduction and annotation by Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon, translated from the German by Damion Searls


Nietzsche does not belong entirely to philosophers. He was a philosopher-poet concerned not simply with describing and explaining the world as he found it, but with identifying and employing the electrifying arts that make the world appear uncanny and ineffably deep.
—Tamsin Shaw

Nietzsche wants to hear idols break. Dismay, exasperation, anger, outrage, disgust, humiliation disappointment: they fuel his philosophy, and it is little without them. Exhilaration, joy, exuberance, excess: they feed it too.
—William H. Gass

Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon’s introduction and notes helpfully contextualize Nietzsche’s barbs, though much of what Nietzsche has to say transcends the milieu in which it was written, and many of his criticisms will resound with readers today…this translation, with its useful notes and introduction, certainly provokes and surprises.
—Jon Morris, Popmatters

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we continue to live within the intellectual shadow cast by Nietzsche. Postmodernism, deconstructionism, cultural relativism, the ‘free spirit’ scorning bourgeois morality, even New Age festivals like Burning Man can all ultimately be traced to him.
—Francis Fukuyama, The New York Times Book Review

Prof. Nietzsche was one of the most prominent of modern German philosophers, and he is considered the apostle of extreme modern rationalism and one of the founders of the socialistic school, whose ideas have had such a profound influence on the growth of political and social life throughout the civilized world…His doctrines, however, were inspired by lofty aspirations, while the brilliancy of his thought and diction and the epigrammatic force of his writings commanded even the admiration of his most pronounced enemies, of which he had many.
The New York Times

Having challenged the foundations of all external authority, Nietzsche demonstrated that the intellect, once it frees itself of all binding illusions philosophical, religious, and cultural, knows no piety, no party, and no platform.
—Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, author of American Nietzsche