Between 1961, when she gave her first talk at the Ford Hall Forum in Boston, and 1981, when she gave the last talk of her life in New Orleans, Ayn Rand spoke and wrote about topics as varied as education, medicine, Vietnam, and the death of Marilyn Monroe. In The Voice of Reason, these pieces, written in the last decades of Rand's life, are gathered in book form for the first time. With them are five essays by Leonard Peikoff, Rand's longtime associate and literary executor. The work concludes with Peikoff's epilogue, "My Thirty Years With Ayn Rand: An Intellectual Memoir," which answers the question "What was Ayn Rand really like?" Important reading for all thinking individuals, Rand's later writings reflect a life lived on principle, a probing mind, and a passionate intensity. This collection communicates not only Rand's singular worldview, but also the penetrating cultural and political analysis to which it gives rise.
Rand's strident right-wing rhetoric is on display in these posthumously collected essays. Upholding egoistic self-interest as the wellspring of capitalism, she derides liberals "crawling on their stomachs to Moscow" and targets "psychologizers" who excuse the behavior of "college-campus thugs" and criminals; in her estimation, the modern arts are a "sewer." Novelist ( Atlas Shrugged ) and self-styled Objectivist philosopher, Rand, who died in 1982, staunchly opposes a "mixed economy," a term which seems to stand for anything contrary to unregulated monopoly capitalism. Liberals should appreciate her diatribe against the Catholic Church's opposition to birth control and abortion. Her eulogy of Marilyn Monroe is sentimental and silly, while her argument to the effect that no psychologically balanced woman would want to be U.S. president is old-fashioned. In supplementary essays, Peikoff, an Objectivist follower of Rand, condemns the New Right's religious zeal and attacks socialized medicine.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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June 29, 1990
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