|Just a very brief rejoinder. |
James, you have to allow that my participation in this forum and at Notablog, contextualized further by reading through several hundred (or is that thousand?) posts on this topic, might lead me to a little hyperbole. But if you clearly don't believe that the Brandens are the focus of evil in the modern world, I sure do get the impression that you---and others who support your position---really do believe that the Brandens are irredeemably evil and that their motivations are almost always base. I could be wrong about this ...
Let me state four further clarifications for the record:
1. I honestly don't see how my previous post was "a giant and irrelevant distraction from the book or its goals." I thought one of your points, James, was that too much criticism of Rand is rooted in charges made by the Brandens. I simply pointed to over 150 articles in JARS and much of the critical scholarship done on Rand, and I find that the discussion of Rand is not informed (much, if at all) by the Branden books. This much is true: We do need to be vigilant and call ad hominem for what it is, whether it shows up in Commentary or National Review.
2. The Zizek article was published in the Spring 2002 JARS; however, it is a revision and expansion of an article that Zizek wrote for the Fall 1997 issue of Lacanian Ink, so his views on this topic predate both his JARS article and the electronic publication of part 1 of your book.
3. I'll let David Kelley speak for himself. I think the issues he deals with in Contested Legacy, however, go far beyond Rand's biography and speak to the problems inherent in the very sycophancy that the Brandens played a part in creating in the historical evolution of the Objectivist movement. It is a sycophancy that is still with us today in some circles.
4. I do not feel that I've been dealt with uncharitably---in any way, shape, or form---by either you or Casey. I think we've been mutually respectful from the beginning. It's natural to get a little hot-under-the-collar on some of these issues, but I think we've conducted ourselves just fine.