The Spinoza Problem

The Spinoza Problem

A Novel

eBook - 2012 | 1
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When sixteen-year-old Alfred Rosenberg is called into his headmaster’s office for anti-Semitic remarks he made during a school speech, he is forced, as punishment, to memorize passages about Spinoza from the autobiography of the German poet Goethe. Rosenberg is stunned to discover that Goethe, his idol, was a great admirer of the Jewish seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Long after graduation, Rosenberg remains haunted by this “Spinoza problem”: how could the German genius Goethe have been inspired by a member of a race Rosenberg considers so inferior to his own, a race he was determined to destroy?Spinoza himself was no stranger to punishment during his lifetime. Because of his unorthodox religious views, he was excommunicated from the Amsterdam Jewish community in 1656, at the age of twenty-four, and banished from the only world he had ever known. Though his life was short and he lived without means in great isolation, he nonetheless produced...
Publisher: 2012
Edition: 1
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. New York : Basic Books, 2012. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 2236 KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 562 KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9780465029655


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Jul 04, 2015

Fictionalized account of both Baruch Spinoza, 17th century philosopher and of Alfred Rosenberg, 20th century promulgator of Nazism leading up to and during WWiI. Ostensibly the novel is about the conundrum for the Nazi's that many of their beloved German intellectuals also beloved a Jew in Spinoza. Mostly the author ( a trained psychiatrist ) attempts to delve into the protagonists thought processes. Fairly well written with good characterizations however the pace and style were a bit underwhelming. Interesting enough and worth it if you are interested.

Jul 20, 2014

Avery interesting novel. I knew little about Spinoza, except his name. It is interesting to learn that he questioned religious authority and thought, not unlike Martin Luther. His thinking is very progressive about God and religion and religious practices. It was interesting to get a better picture of those who were Nazis and their line of thought. It wasn't just Hitler who embraced this concept about Jewish people and racial bigotry.

thinkpoz Jun 02, 2014

Fascinating insight into the mind of an original and courageous thinker contrasted with the developing pathology of another individual's sociopathy. It exposes the source of racial and religious bigotry as being grounded in factual ignorance and nurtured by feelings of inferiority and petty jealousies. A wonderful window upon the past and a portentous warning to the future.


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