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The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought (Ayn Rand Library) Paperback – June 30, 1990

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

''Persuasive. . . well-articulated. . . prime Rand!'' --Kirkus Reviews

''Thirty-one entirely provocative essays.'' --Charleston Evening Post

''Thought-provoking. . . vintage Rand!'' --Richmond News-Leader

''Thirty-one entirely provocative essays.'' --Charleston Evening Post

''Thought-provoking…vintage Rand!'' --Richmond News-Leader --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ayn Rand Library
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (June 30, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452010462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452010468
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Amazon.com would do well to select a different Editorial Review, as the one from Publishers Weekly above displays some (willful?) misunderstanding of Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. In several books, Rand explains why she opposes monopolies. Yet, Publishers Weekly calls her a staunch proponent of "monopoly capitalism" -- a contradiction in terms, given that only government can hand out legal monopolies. The review also cites "Rand's strident right-wing rhetoric," employing two all-too-common biased journalistic terms -- 'right-wing' (a characterization which any thinker who reads Rand's passionate defenses of the right to abortion would find laughable), and 'rhetoric' (a dismissive term for those who don't have enough brainpower to successfully explain their disapproval).

Just because Amazon.com is headquartered in Seattle shouldn't mean that it has to adopt the silly political biases common to the region.
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Format: Paperback
These 31 pieces include magazine articles and lectures spanning twenty years, from 1961 to 1981. Four of the chapters are by Leonard Peikoff and one each by John Herman Randall and Peter Schwartz, and the book concludes with an epilogue by Peikoff.
Part One: Philosophy, consists of chapters elaborating on Rand's Objectivist philosophy. These include a discussion of the ideas of Aristotle, discussions on ethics, psychology, the ethics of altruism and a criticism of religion.
Part Two: Culture, investigates intellectuals, the culture vacuum, the flaws of liberal pragmatists, conservatives and businessmen. The death of Marilyn Monroe and the flight of Apollo 11 are discussed here. This section ends with a look at anti-Americanism in academia and the anti-conceptual methodology in the education system.
Part Three: Politics, explores various political issues like antitrust legislation, foreign aid, socialized medicine, women in politics and includes a scathing attack on the political movement called Libertarianism. The epilogue is the editor's memoirs of his 30 year association with Ayn Rand.
Each chapter begins with information indicating the original source of the article or lecture. In some instances there are references in brackets within the text itself or otherwise they appear as numbered footnotes at the end.
In my opinion, the best pieces are The Sanction Of The Victim (Chapter 15), Apollo 11 (Chapter 17), Assault From the Ivory Tower: The Professors' War Against America (Chapter 19), Medicine: The Death Of A Profession (Chapter 30), while the worst is About A Woman President (Chapter 26) in which Rand claims that the office is no place for a woman.
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Format: Paperback
This volume contains a selection of lesser known columns, articles and essays from Ayn Rand's impressive oeuvre. The essays, etc. are arranged into three broad sections: Philosophy, Culture and Politics.
Page after page reveals profound insights into the intellectual atmosphere of the times. The writing is always informative and thought provoking, and quite often brilliant.
In short, this volume is especially suitable for readers already familiar with the gist of Ayn Rand's philosophy and literary writing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rand focuses thought and words like no other -- direct, purposeful, succinct, resolute.
She examines the human situation and explains the appropriate process for living in
reality without distorted thinking, without excuses or manipulations. . Hers is the real
world with natural truth and honest thought. . You will find her work enthralling, I bet!
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This is an excellent collection of essays that should be included in the library of every fan of Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. This book contains several great essays by Ayn Rand, which include her thoughts on abortion, the Apollo missions, Vietnam and working for the government. This collection also includes several insightful higher level philosophical essays including the following:

* "Who is the Final Authority in Ethics?" where Ayn Rand clarifies that morality ultimately stems from facts of reality, not from a religious, political or legal authority
* "The Sanction of the Victims" where Ayn Rand emphasizes the importance of never voluntarily relinquishing any of your rights or accepting unearned guilt.

Most importantly, I think the contributions in this volume that are not by Ayn Rand are also incredibly valuable. These include:

* "Religion vs. America" where Dr. Leonard Peikoff almost prophetically warns of the increased blending religion and politics (this is published in 1990).

* "The American School: Why Johnny Cannot Think" where Dr. Peikoff analyzes how public schools teach children to not think in principles or develop proper concepts but instead teach children to be concrete-bound and develop short-term pragmatic solutions to complex problems.

* "Medicine: The Death of a Profession" where Dr. Peikoff articulates how health care is not a right and how the increased government involvement in health care will slow advancements in medicine to a crawl.

* "Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty" where Peter Schwartz delineates the stark differences between the views of the Libertarian Party and the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
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