Like most philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche is better known for his ideas than for the life he led. In I Am Dynamite!: A Life of Nietzsche
(Tim Duggan Books, 2018), Sue Prideaux
details the events of his life and shows how they can inform many of the concepts for which he is best known. The son of a clergyman, Nietzsche excelled at university and became a professor of classical philology at the University of Basel without even taking a degree. It was at that time he began a long-term friendship with Richard Wagner and often traveled to Bayreuth. Yet Nietzsche soon drifted away from philology towards philosophy, which led to his dismissal from his teaching post. As Prideaux shows, Nietzsche overcame ill health, physical handicaps, and the poor reception of his work to develop his ideas, and was on the cusp of gaining a wider audience when a mental breakdown led him to spend the last years of his life institutionalized, little knowing of the growing impact his books and ideas were having on European thought.