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Leland Yeager, RIP

I have just learned that Leland Yeager, a dear colleague of mine, and of so many others, passed away late Monday evening, April 23, 2018.

I had the enormous pleasure of working with Leland, in my capacity as one of the founding coeditors of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. He contributed three articles to the periodical. The first was a Fall 2001 review of James Arnt Aune's book Selling the Free Market: The Rhetoric of Economic Correctness. Always one to turn a phrase, he titled his review, "Economic Incorrectness," which, of course, elicited a response from Aune, and a rejoinder from Leland in our Fall 2002 issue. It was a very short rejoinder that thanked Aune for his good-natured response, but it was clear that their differences were fundamental, and he asked: "Why drag the tedium out?"

The final essay that Leland contributed to the journal was a response to Will Thomas's review of Yeager's book Ethics as Social Science: The Moral Philosophy of Social Cooperation. This much more substantive response, paired with Will's rejoinder, appeared in our legendary Spring 2005 symposium on "Ayn Rand Among the Austrians," the second of two issues devoted to a celebration of the Ayn Rand Centenary. I say "legendary", because that issue completed sold out. I, myself, have only a single copy of it! But for those who subscribe to the journal electronically, that back issue, along with all of our back issues over the last eighteen years, is available through JSTOR.

All I can say is: I have worked with many, many authors and peer readers through the years, and most of the time, our exchanges have been respectful. Then there's a Top Ten List for our own version of the Horror File: Authors or Peer Readers Never to Work With Again. I can enumerate off the top of my head the folks on that illustrious list, but would much rather focus on another Top Ten List: Authors or Peer Readers Who Are The Best to Work With.

Leland certainly makes that Top Ten list; he was not merely the supremely knowledgeable scholar but among the nicest and kindest, most sincere academics I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. A gentleman's scholar, and a fine human being. He will be missed. I extend my condolences to his family and friends.

A Memorial Service has been set for early evening on Saturday, April 28, 2018 in Auburn. Further details will be made available for those wishing to attend. (I will try to update this blog entry should I receive those details sooner than later.)

Postscript: Leland's farewell wine tasting party will be held at the Oak Room in The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center between 5 and 7 pm on Saturday, April 28, 2018.