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ISBN 0-8126-9586-0
$27.95       paper
267 pages

The Roots and Flowers of Evil in Baudelaire, Nietzsche, and Hitler

Claire Ortiz Hill

Baudelaire, Nietzsche, and Hitler—a poet, a philosopher, and a politician—each profoundly understood the seductive attraction of evil. All three made clear, candid pronouncements on the depiction of evil in idealized garb. Underneath the superficial and Hitler appearances of contradiction, we find in their writings uncanny insight into the human essence behind the masks of convention and hypocrisy.

Claire Ortiz Hill puts together the pieces of the puzzle of evil, like fragments of a mosaic, from the images and insights found in writings of Baudelaire, Nietzsche, and Hitler. The chief works examined are Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil and Spleen of Paris, Nietzsche’s Daybreak, Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Genealogy of Morals, and Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Dr. Hill brings the thoughts and words of these three specialists of the soul into into juxtaposition with real historical events in which evil is concretely manifested. Out of
these depths, she appeals for an effective antidote to evil, which she finds in the achievements of nonviolent movements.

"A unique study of the ways in which the most horrifying of evils have been convincingly presented as reasonable courses of action and carried out with zeal by multitudes of people who would pass as normal. Claire Ortiz Hill makes clear why nothing has really changed in the factors that produced the great evils of the twentieth century, and why the future is very likely going to resemble the past.”
—DALLAS WILLARD, author of The Divine Conspiracy

“Claire Ortiz Hill has shown that only a solid conviction that the universe is controlled not by force but by a loving power can sustain the effort to defeat hate by refusing to return it. In a nuclear age the real alternative to non-violence is non-existence.”
—ASTRID M. O’BRIEN, Fordham University

Claire Ortiz Hill is a religious hermit with the Archdiocese of Paris and an independent scholar. She became a philosopher because she wanted to understand the roots of the great evils of the twentieth century. Her spiritual director is a Jesuit who was sent to Dachau because of his work in the French Resistance. Dr. Hill’s books include Word and Object in Husserl, Frege, and Russell (1991), Rethinking Identity and Metaphysics (1997), and Husserl or Frege? (with G.E. Rosado Haddock, 2000)


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