At the end of his writing career, Friedrich Nietzsche writes one of the great lines of philosophical autobiography: “I am no man; I am dynamite.” But how does dynamite come to be dynamite? Does the explosion come from something in his genetic code? His family background? The circumstances of his historical moment? Or does dynamite have to will its own explosion? Cambridge University Press’s recent book The Making of Friedrich Nietzsche tells the story of the first twenty-four years of dynamite, and some of the most interesting questions that the book raises have to do with the shifting manners in which young Nietzsche told his own story.