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Tuesday, December 2, 2003 - 10:48amSanction this postReply
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Chris you say: "Nevertheless, because Rand's life was the stuff of drama-nay, melodrama-both her sycophants and her critics have sometimes focused attention on the personal details of her epic existence to make the larger philosophical point. It's certainly "fair game" to examine the details of a historical figure's personal life in an effort to grapple with their legacy or with questions of broad philosophical interest. Rand is not alone in being the subject of this kind of attention; Heidegger, Arendt, Sartre, Freud, Marx, Wittgenstein, and others have received similar attention."
But, as you also note, Rand, unlike these others, rarely gets examined as a serious intellectual other than by her supporters. No piece has appeared on her, as has on Leo Strauss or Thomas Sowell, in The New York Review of Books. Instead, little childish barbs are included about her views in various reviews and other missives, as if her contribution to culture were akin to, say, that of Laverne & Shirley or The Man Show. It is a nice project for us to try to counter this, all the while acknowledging, as you do, that it's fair enough game to pick on Rand.



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Wednesday, December 3, 2003 - 2:03pmSanction this postReply
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Good points, Tibor. And I'm second to none in my frustration with The New York Review of Books, which has consistently passed on the opportunity to review any books of Rand scholarship, mine and yours included. I think it's a disgrace, actually.

But I do think the trend is beginning to change. As the growing list of journal references to Rand suggests here, there are many people who are beginning to take her seriously, even outside the realm of her supporters. She is showing up with increasing regularity in encyclopedias and textbooks, and I think that's only because people like you, me, and others have worked very hard to change the scholarly perception.

Thanks especially for all your efforts!



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