'Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love' by Andrew Shaffer (Harper Perennial, 2011)

January 25, 2011 10:51 ET

"Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love" Explores Romantic Mishaps of Famous Thinkers

DAVENPORT, IA--(Marketwire - January 25, 2011) - In the hilarious and compelling new book GREAT PHILOSOPHERS WHO FAILED AT LOVE (released January 4th from HarperCollins Publishers imprint Harper Perennial), Andrew Shaffer presents brief but entertaining portraits of nearly forty great thinkers whose words of wisdom we repeat -- but whose decisions we should avoid at all costs.

It's hardly shocking when we read about the latest celebrity running afoul of Cupid, but it might be surprising to learn that many of the greatest philosophers of the Western world have also failed spectacularly at romance. Within are the stories of:

  • Louis Althusser, who "accidentally" strangled his wife in her sleep.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre, who dated nine different women at the same time -- at age 74.
  • Ayn Rand, who dedicated Atlas Shrugged to both her husband Frank and her lover Nathaniel.

"Compared to them, you'll look saintly," says Martha Stewart's Whole Living magazine, which recommends the book for Valentine's Day gift-givers in its February issue. "I can think of a recently retired Viking quarterback who might want to pick up a copy for his wife," adds Shaffer.

"It's oddly comforting to know that so many supposedly brilliant minds had no clue when it came to love and relationships," says the author, who wrote part of the book while on his honeymoon. Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love was inspired by Shaffer's line of Friedrich Nietzsche Valentine's Day greeting cards, available from Order of St. Nick.

After reading Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love, "almost everyone will feel better about his or her love life" (Publishers Weekly).

About the Author

ANDREW SHAFFER is a frequent Huffington Post contributor and creative director of Order of St. Nick (, the greeting card company whose irreverent cards have been featured on The Colbert Report.

Shaffer has readings, signings, and other appearances scheduled in and around New York City now through February 14th in support of Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love, and has media experience including live television interviews (FOX News) and radio.

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