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JARS: Our Twentieth Anniversary Celebration Begins!

I am delighted and deeply honored to announce the publication of the first of two issues celebrating the twentieth anniversary of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. Tonight, it made its debut on JSTOR; print subscribers should expect the first of these two historic issues within the next couple of weeks.


The following excerpt is from the Introduction I wrote to Volume 20, Number 1:

Welcome to the first issue of the twentieth anniversary volume of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.
If someone had told me that I'd even be writing that introductory sentence twenty-plus years ago, when the very first issue of the journal was in the planning stages, I would never have believed it. But here we are, commencing our celebration of the twentieth volume in our history with the first of two issues that will feature reviews and discussions of works relevant to Rand studies that have never been formally examined in our pages.
JARS began as a fledgling independent periodical in Fall 1999, the brainchild of Liberty magazine editor Bill Bradford (1947-2005). He enlisted Stephen Cox and me as founding co-editors, with a founding advisory board of only three (Robert L. Campbell, Mimi Reisel Gladstein, and Larry Sechrest). By our second issue, the advisory board had expanded to include Douglas J. Den Uyl, Robert Hessen, John Hospers, Lester H. Hunt, Eric Mack, and Douglas B. Rasmussen. With the passing of our dear friends, Bill, John, and Larry, we expanded our Editorial Board to four (Stephen Cox, Robert L. Campbell, Roderick T. Long, and me) and our Advisory Board to a dozen (with the 2013 additions of David T. Beito, Peter J. Boettke, Susan Love Brown, Hannes H. Gissurarson, Steven Horwitz, and David N. Mayer).
Sadly, David passed away on 23 November 2019; we dedicate this first issue of our twentieth anniversary volume to his memory.
It should be noted, however, that our editors and advisors provide only a hint of the astounding interdisciplinary character of the journal, which has published essays in such fields as anthropology, economics, English and theater arts, history, law, literature, philosophy, politics, and psychology. Starting with the July 2013 issue, the journal began a new phase as a Pennsylvania State University Press print-published periodical. Now we are indexed by nearly two dozen abstracting services, are available to thousands of public, private, not-for-profit, business, and institutional libraries worldwide, and are published electronically by both JSTOR and Project MUSE. Our visibility and accessibility have grown enormously, as has our subscription base. Our total electronic downloads alone have gone from 7,922 in 2013 to 14,515 in 2019. I expect a sharp jump in those figures with the debut of these two very special JARS issues.
We have published important symposia on remarkably diverse topics, including Rand’s aesthetics (Spring 2001), Rand and progressive rock (Fall 2003), Rand’s literary and cultural impact (Fall 2004), Rand among the Austrians (Spring 2005), and Rand’s ethics (Spring 2006). We brought out two issues celebrating our tenth anniversary, including one devoted to Rand and Nietzsche (Spring 2009); a 2016 double issue (and our first published Kindle edition) devoted to an examination of "Nathaniel Branden: His Work and Legacy"; and a December 2019 issue marking the sixty-plus-year career of Atlas Shrugged. With this thirty-ninth issue in our history, we will have published 366 articles by 173 authors.

The introduction continues with a list of acknowledgments to all those who have made this achievement possible. We remain the only double-blind peer-reviewed interdisciplinary scholarly periodical published by a university press devoted to the study of Ayn Rand and her times. I conclude my introduction by acknowledging our most important debt:

In the end, however, we thank our readers above all, because they are the key to our phenomenal success. Here’s to another two decades and beyond of JARS triumphs . . . two decades, or until such time as Rand studies have so penetrated the literary and philosophic canon that specialized journals of this nature are no longer required.

So... what do readers have in store for them in this twentieth anniversary celebration? As mentioned above, we decided to devote two issues to reviewing those works in the general area of Rand studies, which have never been critically appraised in our pages. The list of works reviewed in this first issue of volume 20 are:

Understanding Objectivism, by Leonard Peikoff

How Bad Writing Destroyed the World: Ayn Rand and the Literary Origins of the Financial Crisis, by Adam Weiner

Perspectives on Ayn Rand's Contributions to Economic and Business Thought, edited by Edward W. Younkins

Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight against Income Inequality, by Don Watkins and Yaron Brook

Selfish Women, by Lisa Downing

Ayn Rand and the Posthuman: The Mind-Made Future, by Ben Murnane

A New Textbook of Americanism: The Politics of Ayn Rand, edited by Jonathan Hoenig

Independent Judgment and Introspection: Fundamental Requirements of the Free Society, by Jerry Kirkpatrick

The Unconquered: With Another, Earlier Adaptation of "We the Living", by Ayn Rand (edited by Robert Mayhew), and Ideal: The Novel and the Play, by Ayn Rand

Who Is John Galt? A Navigational Guide to Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged", by Timothy Curry and Anthony Trifiletti, and So Who Is John Galt, Anyway? A Reader's Guide to Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged", by Robert Tracinski

Anthem, by Ayn Rand (adapted by Jennifer Grossman and Dan Parsons, illustrated by Dan Parsons); Anthem, by Ayn Rand (adapted by Charles Santino and Joe Staton); The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis, by Darryl Cunningham

What's in Your File Folder? Essays on the Nature and Logic of Propositions, by Roger E. Bissell


As is the case with every issue, we have introduced at least one new contributor to the JARS family. This issue brings debut pieces from Roger Donway and David Gordon. Here is our Table of Contents for Volume 20, Number 1 (the abstracts can be found here; contributor biographies can be found here):

What Ayn Never Told Us - Dennis C. Hardin

How Bad Scholarship Destroys Literary and Economic Analysis - Peter J. Boettke

Promethean Commerce and Ayn's Alloy - Roger Donway

Misguided Arguments - David Gordon

Ayn Rand: Selfish Woman - Mimi Reisel Gladstein

Ayn Rand and Posthumanism - Troy Camplin

Textbook of Americanism 2.0 - Neil Parille

The Psycho-Epistemology of Freedom - Steven H. Shmurak

Posthumous Publications - Stephen Cox

Who John Galt Is - Roger E. Bissell

Illustrated Rand: Three Recent Graphic Novels - Aeon J. Skoble

File Folder Follies - Fred Seddon

Those seeking to subscribe to the journal should visit the sites linked here. And---as we march into the third decade of this remarkable journal---those wishing to submit manuscripts for consideration should follow the instructions here.

Once again: My eternal gratitude to every person who has made this day possible.