This is one of the most accessible of Nietzsche's works. It was published in 1887, a year after Beyond Good and Evil, and he intended it to be a continuation of the investigation into the theme of morality. In the first work, Nietzsche attacked the notion of morality as nothing more than institutionalized weakness, and he criticized past philosophers for their unquestioning acceptance of moral precepts. In On the Genealogy of Morals, subtitled "A Polemic", Nietzsche furthers his pursuit of a clarity that is less tainted by imposed prejudices. He looks at the way attitudes towards 'morality' evolved and the way congenital ideas of morality were heavily colored by the Judaic and Christian traditions.
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An Essential Precursor to Evolutionary Psychology
I would recommend this work to my more free-thinking friends and to those who want to challenge themselves intellectually. Nietzsche's words are bolts of lightning which wake us from our sleep.
My favorite character was "the ascetic man" because I had never seen through his disguise so clearly until I listened to this work. I also realized how much I have been seduced by his perspective throughout my life.
Since this was a non-fiction work, I will put forth my favorite section rather than scene...I was most interested in the section on the nature of punishment. This section demonstrated how punishment originally arose as a way for the powerful to demonstrate this power.It also deals with the transformation of this phenomenon after the "slave revolt in morals." The "sick" man becomes "master" of himself and punishes himself by submitting to religion and filtering both his resentments and hopes through this narcotic denial of life.
Nietzsche provides much food for thought, but I was very much moved by his description of master/slave moralities and the creditor/debtor carryover into morality. Though I would tweak his critiques based on modern evolutionary psychology, he provides much provocative insight and gets behind the scenes of our moral realities.
Not for the faint-of-heart or easily offended...
Be strong, not weak.