Spinoza: A Life / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.15
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 64%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $14.15   
  • New (9) from $33.15   
  • Used (8) from $14.15   


Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677) was one of the most important philosophers of all time; he was also arguably the most radical and controversial. This was the first complete biography of Spinoza in any language and is based on detailed archival research. More than simply recounting the story of Spinoza's life, the book takes the reader right into the heart of Jewish Amsterdam in the seventeenth century and, with Spinoza's exile from Judaism, right into the midst of the tumultuous political, social, intellectual and religious world of the young Dutch Republic. Though the book will be an invaluable resource for philosophers, historians, and scholars of Jewish thought, it has been written for any member of the general reading public with a serious interest in philosophy, Jewish history, seventeenth-century European history, and the culture of the Dutch Golden Age. Spinoza: A Life has recently been awarded the Koret Jewish Book Award.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"By reading this book, one can learn a lot about the man and his times, but also something about his philosophical and political theories. Nadler is primarily a political scientist, and he does a good job of relating Spinoza's ideas to the political and cultural environment in which he lived. This book is clearly written and exhibits impressive scholarship....Highly recommended for the libraries of schools where philosophy or political science is studied." Choice

"Scholars will find this work rigorous enough for them, but it was also written with the general reader in mind. Spinoza (1832-77) is a notoriously difficult thinker, yet Nadler has given us not only as detailed a picture of Spinoza's life as we are likely to see, based on the best recent scholarship, but also an analysis of Spinoza's ideas that the nonspecialist will find understandable and provocative." Leon H. Brody, Library Journal

"With eloquent sobriety and restraint, this biography of the Dutch-Jewish thinker whom Bertrand Russell called 'the most lovable of the philosophers' communicates much of its subject's rarefied spirit....Spinoza, so often sainted or demonized, at last receives a fine, measured biography." Kirkus Reviews

"Nadler's biography is superb, the best I know....He puts the extraordinary man with surprisingly naturalistic ideas against the historical background and in discussion with contemporaries as well as with the reader." Wim Klever, Emeritus Professor, University of Rotterdam

"A rich and illuminating biography of one of philosophy's most intriguing thinkers. Nadler deftly weaves together the details of Spinoza's life and thought, tracing his passage from the Sephardic community of his youth to the works of his maturity. The result is an exceptional book eminently readable and based on the best recent scholarship." Donald Rutherford, Emory University

"Nadler's Spinoza: A Life is a magnificent accomplishment which will serve as the 'standard' biography for the foreseeable future. In it Spinoza is set in a richly-detailed context which makes all of his works more intelligible than ever." Patrick Riley, The Boston Book Review

"Steven Nadler...offers a moving, sympathetic narrative of his subject's life, learned but concise analyses of the religious and political controversies of his time and a clear exposition of the major aspects of his thought. Mr. Nadler effectively challenges the sentimental myth that Spinoza was a meek and mild, out-of-touch, other-worldly recluse." William F. Gavin, Washington Times

"Steven Nadler...has now admirably filled the gap with his meticulous, measured and highly readable Spinoza: A Life." Anthony Gottlieb, New York Times Book Review

"[Nadler] has performed a great service in sifting through mounds of historical data about a well-known philosopher, whose insights are still cause for considerable debate." David R. Rosenfield, M.D., Jewish Herald Voice

"...Nadler focuses on Spinoza the man. he provides us with a thorough, engaging and contextualized study of a life that has been much alluded to and much mythologized, but which has hitherto eluded such systematic scholarly examination." The Jewish Quarterly

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521002936
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 430
  • Sales rank: 800,352
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Preface; 1. Settlement; 2. Abraham and Michael; 3. Bento/Baruch; 4. Talmud Torah; 5. A merchant of Amsterdam; 6. Cherem; 7. Benedictus; 8. A philosopher in Rijnsberg; 9. 'The Jew of Voorburg'; 10. Homo Politicus; 11. Calm and turmoil in the Hague; 12. 'A free man thinks least of all of death'; A note on sources; End notes; Bibliography.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)