Birth, School, Work, Death

March 6, 2005
(was 03.07.2004)

After World War Two, existentialism was all the rage in the U.S.A.  College students rebelled by smoking European cigarettes and wearing black clothes and berets.  Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus felt that Americans were too self-confident and superficial to accept this dark, brooding philosophy, but it seems existentialism has deep American roots.  On this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the history of angst in America.  Also, why Nietzche’s philosophy still matters.

  1. Alexander Nehamas on "Nietzsche"

    Alexander Nehamas is the author of “Nietzsche: Life as Literature.” He explains Nietzsche’s ideas and explains why he is still important today.

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  2. Nathan Radke on Sartre and Charlie Brown

    Nathan Radke talks about why the characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip can be seen as acting out the dilemmas of existentialism. 

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  3. Ronald Aronson on "Camus and Sartre"

    Ronald Aronson is the author of “Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel That Ended It.”  Aronson recounts the relationship and the very public dispute between two of the twentieth century’s leading intellectuals.

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  4. George Cotkin on "Existential America"

    George Cotkin, author of “Existential America,” says that angst is familiar emotional territory for Americans and explains why Existentialism appealed to people here.

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  5. Francis M. Nevins on "Night and Fear"

    Francis M. Nevins is an authority on suspense writer Cornell Woolrich and wrote the introduction for a new anthology called “Night and Fear: A Centenary Collection of Stories by Cornell Woolrich.”

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