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January 31, 2014

JARS 2014: Project MUSE and Other Developments

The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies will be publishing its 14th volume this year, and we are happy to report that Project MUSE will begin its coverage of the journal with the appearance of our first 2014 issue in July. As the Project MUSE site explains:

Project MUSE is a leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content; since 1995, its electronic journal collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, special, and school libraries worldwide. MUSE books and journals, from leading university presses and scholarly societies, are fully integrated for search and discovery.
MUSE currently includes: 303,411 articles and 592,408 chapters by 234 publishers

2014 JARS content won't actually appear in searches or on the site until the publication of our first 2014 issue, scheduled for a July 2014 appearance (though MUSE does have searchable content for my recently published second expanded edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical... jeez, if I can't plug my own book, who can?).

And what an issue Volume 14, Number 1 promises to be; it will include many first-time authors in the expanding universe of Rand scholarship. And it will also include a mini-symposium on Robert L. Campbell's lengthy article, which appeared in Volume 13, Number 1, "An End to Over and Against," which reviews recent biographical-historical studies of Rand: Jennifer Burns's book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right and Anne C. Heller's book, Ayn Rand and the World She Made. The mini-symposium includes replies from Jennifer Burns, Anne C. Heller, and Mimi Reisel Gladstein, as well as a rejoinder from Campbell. What a time to be discussing recent, independent biographical work on Rand, especially in light of the passing of the first biographer to publish an "authorized" biography in Ayn Rand's lifetime, my dear friend, Barbara Branden.

There are so many other essays to look forward to in the coming issue, which will use the occasion to mark the passing of Barbara Branden, as well as another Rand scholar, Allan Gotthelf, who passed away in August 2013. He was not a friend of the journal or my work, but he was one of the founders of the Ayn Rand Society of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. Much more to follow... stay tuned.

Finally, subscribers should check the changes made to the 2014 price schedule, found here.

January 27, 2014

Song of the Day #1152

Song of the Day: Get Lucky [YouTube link to the official video, with lyrics], words and music by Pharrell Williams and the great Nile Rodgers (he of the band "Chic" providing us with some of the most memorable sounds of the disco era), recorded by them as the house music band Daft Punk, for the album "Random Access Memories," one of my absolutely favorite albums of 2013. The album took home honors for "Album of the Year." while this song was named Record of the Year(the full list of Grammy winners is here) and also received a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The band is a mixture of Old School and cutting edge; this song has got that wonderful retro feel. The album also won for Best Dance Electronica Album and Best Engineered Album, Classical. But nothing prepared me for the sweetly transformative performance of the song on the Grammy telecast last night [YouTube link here],with its subtle "Le Freak" Chic references, and the cameo live appearance by Stevie Wonder, who provided the melodic mash-up, intermingling his utterly magnificent "Another Star".

January 26, 2014

Song of the Day #1151

Song of the Day: Same Love, words and music by Ben Haggarty, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lewis, is the fourth hit single from the album "The Heist," by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. A radical departure from within the world of hip hop, it is a tribute to sexual equality in the institution of marriage. For that alone, it deserves all the praise and attention it gets. The song is nominated for "Song of the Year," at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, which is on CBS tonight. Enjoy!

January 08, 2014

Russian Radical 2.0: A Kindle Edition and Revised Revisions

I recently published a Notablog series on "Russian Radical 2.0" as I've called it: the newly published second edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical:

Part 1: The Cover
Part 2: The Cover Story
Part 3: 1995 vs. 2013: What's Different?
Part 4: Preface to the Second Edition
Part 5: Supplying Answers, Raising Questions
Part 6: 12 September 2013, Release Date

Today, I'd like to note the publication of a new Kindle edition, which can be purchased at amazon.com [online link here].

I want to mention that in preparing this note today, I had to make a change in Part 2 of the above series, because things have changed on the official website of the Ayn Rand Institute. When I was preparing Appendix III of the new second edition of my book, I accessed "this page" on 11 February 2013, wherein the Ayn Rand Institute characterized a forthcoming book as the "authorized biography of Ayn Rand by Shoshana Milgram" as "in preparation." This has now been changed [accessed today, 8 January 2014]: to "Biography of Ayn Rand by Shoshana Milgram (in preparation)." Note how the word "authorized" has been dropped in the online description. Airbrushing reality is not something new with the Institute. It doesn't change the facts. As I note in my book (page 466, note 2):

Impact, the newsletter of the Ayn Rand Institute (1994), announced in "A Look at the Future," in its April 1994 General News column, that Ayn Rand in Her Own Words: The Authorized Biography was "being prepared for publication in 1996." It was to be "edited by Richard E. Ralston (ARI Academic Affairs Officer and former book/newspaper publisher)." The text was to consist of "Ayn Rand's own story of her life compiled from various sources, including her journals, correspondence, and interviews[,] . . . supplemented by interviews with Leonard Peikoff, Mary Ann Sures, and others." The plan was abandoned, but the title was later used for a 2011 documentary on Rand's life (see my preface herein, 401 n.3).
More than a decade later, in June 2004, it was announced by Impact (Journo 2004a, 1) that Shoshana Milgram was "working on an in-depth biography of Ayn Rand," for which the author herself projected completion "at the latest by 2008" (in Journo 2004b, 4). ARI currently identifies the "authorized biography of Ayn Rand by Shoshana Milgram" as "in preparation." See http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_ayn_rand_archives_projects , accessed 11 February 2013.

Whoops. Guess we're no longer "authorized." Oh, well.

Postscript: For those who doubt that there was an earlier manifestation of this page, in which Milgram's forthcoming biography was characterized as "authorized," we have the Internet Archive Wayback Machine: a 6 February 2013 snapshot, closest in proximity to my 11 February accessing of the page and the 5 September 2013 snapshot, the last time that the word "authorized" was seen on that ARI page. The change seems to have occurred somewhere between September 2013 and October 2013, since the dropping of "authorized" is apparent in the 5 October 2013 snapshot.

Remarkably, this is coincident with the exact publication date of the second expanded edition of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. Cause? Effect? Reciprocal dialectical causation? You be the judge.

January 04, 2014

Song of the Day #1150

Song of the Day: Behind the Groove features the words and music of Richard Rudolph and Mary C. Brockert, whose stage name was Teena Marie. I've been a bit 'behind the groove' in getting a Notablog entry up for the new year, so here's wishing health and happiness to all my readers in 2014. Listen to the extended version of this classic R&B hit from the 1980 album "Lady T" on YouTube here.