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THE BOSTON GLOBE (13 February 2005)

("Critical Faculties," News Section, Sunday paper)

Ayn Rand's Campus Radicals

Christopher Shea

In this essay, Shea discusses the rise of scholarly interest in Ayn Rand.  "Fresh scholarly interest in Rand, at least in some quarters, has been evident since the late 1990s. 'More books have been written about her in the last 10 years* than ever before,' says Robert Mayhew, a professor of philosophy at Seton Hall University ...  As the Globe columnist Cathy Young points out in a cover story in the latest issue of the libertarian magazine Reason (founded in 1968 as a mimeographed sheet by a Boston University student), no one has done more for Rand's reputation in academia than Christopher [sic] Matthew Sciabarra, an untenured visiting professor at New York University. The current and forthcoming issues of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, which he co-founded in 1999, are devoted to the centenary, with articles touching on everything from Rand's influence on the comic book author Steve Ditko (co-creator of Spiderman) to the contribution Atlas Shrugged can make to the teaching of economics. 'One would be hard pressed to find a more economically literate novel written by a non-economist,' writes George Mason University economist Peter J. Boettke. (Indeed, after The New York Times panned the book, a young Randian named Alan Greenspan wrote to defend a plot in which 'parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.')"

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* Coincident with the publication, in 1995, of Sciabarra's book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical (Penn State Press)--ed.


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