Goethe is often remembered only as a literary genius--yet he was driven by much more than the desire for literary success: he wanted (much the same as us) to live life well. Here, philosopher of art Armstrong tells the dramatic life story of this great poet--a representative man akin to Wordsworth in England or Emerson in America. In so doing, he subtly and imaginatively explores the ways that we can learn from Goethe--about love, art, friendship, and family. At the center of Goethe's project was the human yearning for happiness: In an imperfect world, how can we live well with what we have, and accept what we haven't? From our careers and families to our attitude toward money, art and politics, Armstrong explores the main themes of modern human existence through the life of Goethe, and helps us learn how to understand them better ourselves.--From publisher description.