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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Nietzsche and Napoleon

The Dionysian Conspiracy

This book offers an analysis of Nietzsche as a political philosopher in the context of the political movements of his era. Don Dombowsky examines Nietzsche’s political thought, known as aristocratic radicalism, in light of the ideology associated with Napoleon I and Napoleon III known as Bonapartism. Dombowsky argues that Nietzsche’s aristocratic radicalism is indistinguishable from Bonapartism and that Nietzsche is a delegate of the Napoleonic cult of personality.

240 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2014

Political Philosophy Now

Philosophy: Political Philosophy

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

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“This is a ground-breaking study of Nietzsche’s Caesarism and Bonapartism—two of the most promising inlets into Nietzsche’s political thought. Dombowsky provides us with a thorough and systematic, yet subtle study that offers a unifying reading of Nietzsche’s pronouncements on politics, and sheds new light on their relationship to historical events. Drawing upon a wealth of sources, both scholarly and literary, Nietzsche and Napoleon has all the hallmarks of becoming a reference work in the field.”

Hugo Drochon, University of Cambridge

“Read as a sequel to his seminal Nietzsche’s Machiavellian Politics, Don Dombowsky’s book is a major contribution to our ongoing search for the absent cause or signifier of Nietzsche’s intentionally illusive articulation of his version of nihilism with his equally misunderstood and concomitant political project. Combining astute textual analysis with broad historical understanding, Nietzsche and Napoleon is a significant publishing event.”

Geoff Waite, author of Nietzsche’s Corps/e

Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations

Introduction: The Dionysian Conspiracy

1. Sources, Cults and Criticism: Nietzsche’s Portrait of Napoleon

2. Aristocratic Radicalism as a Species of Bonapartism

3. Napoleon III: ‘déshonneur’

Conclusion: The Imperial European Future




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