Harley-Davidson And Philosophy – Book Review

Harley-Davidson philosophy

Harley-Davidson And Philosophy Full-Throttle Aristotle is published by Open Court as part of their Popular Culture and Philosophy series. This series brings fans of under appreciated pop culture icons together with scholarly writings about their favorite topics such as Harley-Davidson, Quentin Tarantino, The Grateful Dead and a number of interesting pop culture related titles. Click here to check see the whole collection. The author of this book is Bernard Rollin but the book consists of 14 chapters that are Philosophy essays by 12 different “die hard bikers” who also happen to be philosophy professors.

This book was more than I bargained for. I was expecting the usual easy reading biker paperback to take on vacation. I was also expecting easy to digest nuggets of wisdom gained from interesting travel chronicles. But Full-Throttle Aristotle was alot more than that. The collective authors are actually true scholarly professionals in the realm of philosophy. As I started into the book I wasn’t sure I could even follow the professors as they rambled on about Taoism, zazen, genjokoan, stoicism and Hegel’s dialectic. What does Nietzsche have to do with Harley’s? While sitting at a swimming pool in Jamaica soaking in the sun, listening to Reggae music, drinking rum drinks and just chillaxing I didn’t give up on the book. As I got into it I must admit it is probably the most interesting and thought provoking reading I have done in a long time. How can you go wrong with chapters like: Leather-Clad: Eroticism, Fetishism, and Other -isms in Biker Fashion? Or Motorcycling, Nihilism, and the Price of Cool? Although I enjoy reading books by authors who come across as my peers this book was challenging in that the writers are intellectuals writing on a higher level than my educational background. However I was able to follow along and found the comparisons and concepts exceptionally interesting. It is refreshing to go from one writer to another in this deep collection of views on motorcycles, motorcycle culture and bikers. The slight shift in writing style and the angle each writer takes makes the book palatable.

You deep thinkers out there will love this book. It’s like taking our many blog posts on such topics as “Who Is and Who Isn’t a Biker” to the next level. At $17.95 it is a bargain because if you are like me, you might have to read it twice to digest it. You get twice as much reading for your money! Click here for more information on this book at Amazon.

One Response to “Harley-Davidson And Philosophy – Book Review”

  1. Looking over Jay’s shoulder a bit on the airplane I noticed mention of Nietzsche, Kant, and other names that brought back memories of my Honors Philosophy class in college…(during whcih I pretty much just sat there with my jaw on the floor wondering WTF they were talking about for the entire semester)! Regardless, that combined with a few passages Jay shared with me makes me definitely want to pick this one up. OMG I may actually voluntarily read a book for the first time probably this century! Looks intriguing…

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