It is remarkable, and encouraging, how many books about Objectivist philosophy are being published these days. Not to mention books by Objectivists, that are not about Objectivism, such as C. Bradley Thompson’s biography of John Adams. When I first discovered Ayn Rand, in the early 1980’s, the only Objectivist writer other than Ayn Rand herself was Leonard Peikoff, who had written one book, The Ominous Parallels. Objectivist publications have come a long way, since then.
In looking over the lectures to be given at the Objectivist Summer Conference 2009, I notice two of the lectures by Tara Smith are based on chapters from Essays on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Which does not seem to have been published yet, but looks outstanding. While looking for that title on Amazon, two of the titles (among others) that popped up as suggestions were Andrew Bernstein’s Objectivism in One Lesson (available now), and his Ayn Rand for Beginners (available in July).
An odd thing struck me about the “Product Description” of Ayn Rand for Beginners. It said:
Ayn Rand For Beginners sheds a new light on Ms. Rand’s otherwise seemingly impenetrable words and philosophy.
If there was ever a philosopher whose writings are crystal clear, it is Ayn Rand. To call her writing “seemingly impenetrable” is just bizarre. Her writings might be described as “shocking” to a culture that views selfishness as immoral, but “seemingly impenetrable” just doesn’t make any sense. That’s a description for philosophers like Immanuel Kant, not Ayn Rand.
In any case, there is a bonanza of Objectivist publications hitting the market these days, and that is all to the good.