Thursday, November 05, 2009

Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand, Everywhere

With two new books out about her, sales of her books higher than ever, and new interest in her philosophy in the world's largest democracy growing, it might seem that we are living in a Randian moment.

Love her or hate her, it is hard to ignore her and her ideas, her strange personality, her evangelical followers (even though they would hate that phrase) and her vehement detractors.

I intend this post as a collection on some recent, useful writing on the subject for the curious. I have already made my opinions known here at COTL back in 2005. Read those here.

Now, the reading list (which is by no stretch of the imagination exhaustive). Oh, and if you don't throw up a little at the (thankfully fake) picture in the GQ article, you might not be human.

  • The Reason Foundation's "Rand-a-Palooza." You might expect Reason to be chest-thumpingly adulatory, but they do complicate this expected bias towards Rand and her ideas.
  • According to GQ, "The Bitch is Back," apparently. For some, she never left. More a personal reflection for, well, the sort of people who read GQ.
  • Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution's take. I especially like his ideas about Rand and a modern virtue ethics.
  • Article in New York about Rand's personality and its relationship to her ideas. I particularly like the notion of the unreality of Objectivism.
  • NYT book review that details Rand's difficult relationship with conservatives. I would add that this difficulty extend to libertarians, liberals...pretty much everyone who didn't accept Objectivism whole and uncut.
  • A bit of humor mixed in with the criticism. Murray Rothbard's delightful one-act play entitled, "Mozart Was a Red." This zeroes in, with humor, on one of the things that I find most objectionable about her philosophy.

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