Existentialism For Beginners is an entertaining romp through the history of a philosophical movement that has had a broad and enduring influence on Western culture. From the middle of the Nineteenth Century through the late Twentieth Century, existentialism informed our politics and art, and still exerts its influence today. Tracing the movement’s beginnings with close-up views of seminal figures like Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche, Existentialism For Beginners follows its intellectual and literary trail to German philosophers Jaspers and Heidegger, and finally to the movement’s flowering in post-World-War-II France thanks to masterworks by such giants as Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, plus many others.
Illustrations throughout — at once lighthearted and gritty — help readers explore and understand a style of thinking that, while pervasive in its influence, is often seen as obscure, difficult, cryptic and dark. Existentialism For Beginners draws the movement’s many diverse elements together to provide an accessible introduction for those who seek a better understanding of the topic, and an enjoyable historical review packed with timeless quotes from existentialism’s leading lights.