In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Nearly twenty years ago, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical was published. In its wake came much controversy and discussion,1 which greatly influenced the course of my research in subsequent years. In 1999, I co-edited, with Mimi Reisel Gladstein, Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand, part of the Pennsylvania State University Press series on Re-Reading the Canon, which now includes nearly three dozen volumes, each devoted to a major thinker in the Western philosophic tradition, from Plato and Aristotle to Foucault and Arendt. In that same year, I became a founding co-editor of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, a biannual interdisciplinary scholarly journal on Ayn Rand and her times that, in its first twelve volumes, published over 250 articles by over 130 authors. In 2013, the journal began a new collaboration with the Pennsylvania State University Press that will greatly expand its academic visibility and electronic accessibility. It therefore gives me great pleasure to see that two essays first published in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies—“The Rand Transcript” (1999c) and “The Rand Transcript, Revisited” (2005b)—have made their way into the pages of the second, expanded edition of this book, providing a more complete record of the fascinating historical details of Rand’s education from 1921 to 1924 at what was then Petrograd State University. In publishing the second edition of any book written two decades ago, an author might be tempted to change this or that formulation or phrase to render more accurately its meaning or to eliminate the occasional error of fact. I have kept such revisions to a minimum; the only extensively revised section is an expanded discussion in chapter 12 of Rand’s foreign policy views, relevant to a post-9/11 generation, under the subheading “The Welfare-Warfare State.” Nevertheless, part of the charm of seeing a second edition of this book published now is being able to leave the original work largely untouched and to place it in a broader, clarifying context that itself could not have been apparent when it was first published. My own Rand research activities over these years are merely one small part of an explosive increase in Rand sightings across the social landscape: in books on biography, literature, philosophy, politics, and culture;2 film;3 and contemporary American politics, from the Tea Party to the presidential election.4 preface to the second edition ix 00_sciabarra_fm_i-xvi.indd 9 07/08/13 5:08 PM x ayn rand Even President Barack Obama, in his November 2012 Rolling Stone interview , acknowledges having read Ayn Rand: Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity—that that’s a pretty narrow vision. It’s not one that, I think, describes what’s best in America. (in Brinkley 2012) The bulk of this book predates the president’s assessment, and yet it is, in significant ways, a response to assessments of that kind. First and foremost , it is a statement of the inherent radicalism of Rand’s approach. Her radicalism speaks not to the alleged “narrow vision” but to the broad totality of social relationships that must be transformed as a means of resolving a host of social problems. Rand saw each of these social problems as related to others, constituting—and being constituted by—an overarching system of statism that she opposed. My work takes its cue from Rand, and other thinkers in both the libertarian tradition, such as Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, and Murray N. Rothbard, and the dialectical tradition, such as Aristotle, G. W. F. Hegel, Karl Marx, and Bertell Ollman. From these disparate influences, I have constructed the framework for a “dialectical libertarianism” as the only fundamental alternative to that overarching system of statism. In this book, I identify Rand as a key theorist in the evolution of a “dialectical libertarian” political project. The essence of a dialectical method is that it is “the art of contextkeeping .” More specifically, it emphasizes the need to understand any­ object of study or any social problem by grasping the larger context within which it is embedded, so...

pdf

Additional Information

ISBN
9780271061214
Related ISBN
9780271062273
MARC Record
OCLC
860712160
Pages
496
Launched on MUSE
2013-11-04
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.