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July 31, 2015

Song of the Day #1264

Song of the Day: I'll Never Smile Again, words and music by Ruth Lowe, has the distinction of being the first #1 single on the "National List of Best Selling Retail Records," the first national Billboard chart, 75 years ago this week. The recording by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, with the Pied Pipers and a young singer named Frank Sinatra, hit Number One on the 27th of July 1940 and held onto the top spot for 12 weeks. There had been other charts, compiled from sheet music sales and "music machines" (or phonographs), but this was the first that polled retailers. The song has been recorded in other wonderful renditions, including those by the Ink Spots, the Platters, and a spirited jazz rendition by Bill Evans [YouTube links] from the album "Interplay," featuring guitar great Jim Hall, trumpeter extraordinaire Freddie Hubbard, and the immortal rhythm section of bassist Percy Heath and drummer Philly Joe Jones. But this Dorsey rendition is perhaps most important because it helps us to spotlight the centennial year of the birth of the Chairman of the Board, something we will officially celebrate from Thanksgiving 2015 until Ol' Blue Eyes' 100th birthday on 12 December 2015. Enjoy the sounds of a melancholy Grammy Hall of Fame recording that should only bring smiles to every listener [YouTube link].

July 04, 2015

Song of the Day #1263

Song of the Day: You're a Grand Old Flag features the music and lyrics of George M. Cohan. It was actually written for his 1906 stage musical, "George Washington Jr." All I know is that I came from an era when we were taught songs such as this in elementary school, and they made an indelible mark on my educational upbringing. I know the words backwards and forwards, and no matter how many Yahoos love it, there is a humble quality inherent in its lyric, for no matter how deeply it tributes the "free and the brave," it is "never a boast or a brag." Check out the wonderful version performed by James Cagney, the iconic gangster who won an Academy Award for Best Actor, playing one of the great song and dance men of all time, in the 1942 bio flick, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" on YouTube. And a Happy Independence Day. May the revolution that made every heart beat true for the "red, white, and blue" live forever!

July 02, 2015

New July 2015 Issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies

I am delighted to announce the publication of the July 2015 issue (Volume 15, Number 1, Issue 29) of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, published by Pennsylvania State University Press.

THE NEW JULY 2015 JARS

The issue exhibits our truly interdisciplinary character. Essays dealing with subjects as diverse as epistemology, literary criticism, psychology, feminism, and ethics are featured.

The issue begins with a Call for Papers on the subject, "Assessing the Legacy of Nathaniel Branden," written by me, as one of the founding co-editors of the journal. For more information on the planned symposium, see here and here.

The issue then gets off to a monumentally provocative start with an essay by Susan Love Brown, which delves into the controversial issue of "Ayn Rand and Rape," focusing on the famous "rape" scene in Rand's novel, The Fountainhead. Co-authors Marc Champagne and Mimi Reisel Gladstein present the first essay in the literature that engages in a comparative study of the works of Simone de Beauvoir and Ayn Rand.

In keeping with our tradition of expanding the global universe of scholars engaging in Rand studies and appearing in our pages for the first time, we have Anna Kostenko, a professor teaching at the National Technical University in Zaporozhye, Ukraine, who examines the parallels and distinctions beteen Rand and Vladimir Nabokov; Gary Chartier, professor of law and business ethics from La Cierra University, who reviews Jason Brennan's book, Why Not Capitalism?; author Troy Camplin, who reviews two current studies in libertarian literary criticism (one by Allen P. Mendenhall, the other by Edward W. Younkins); and feminist-libertarian scholar Wendy McElroy, who reviews the second edition of Sciabarra's book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical, which will, no doubt, provoke a discussion in one of our forthcoming issues (I think I could take editor's privilege on my own Notablog by saying that, yes, I've written my own reply already (and there is at least one more that has been finalized)! It is, after all, hard to believe that the book is, indeed, twenty years old this summer!)

The new July 2015 edition also includes essays by Roger E. Bissell, critiquing the Objectivist theory of volition, and Robert L. Campbell, critiquing the notion of "psychologizing" in the Rand literature. We conclude with a symposium featuring a discussion of Marsha Familaro Enright's provocative July 2014 essay "The Problem with Selfishness," with replies by Arnold Baise and Merlin Jetton, and a rejoinder by Enright. That essay has provoked so many responses that we will be featuring a follow-up discussion in our July 2016 issue.

Our December 2016 is tentatively set for the forthcoming symposium, "Assessing the Work and Legacy of Nathaniel Branden," which is fast filling up with contributions from scholars across the globe coming from vastly different disciplines.

Here is the official Table of Contents (readers can access abstracts here and contributor biographies here):

JULY 2015 THE JOURNAL OF AYN RAND STUDIES - TABLE OF CONTENTS

Editor’s Introduction: Assessing the Legacy of Nathaniel Branden - Chris Matthew Sciabarra

ARTICLES

Ayn Rand and Rape - Susan Love Brown

Beauvoir and Rand: Asphyxiating People, Having Sex, and Pursuing a Career - Marc Champagne and Mimi Reisel Gladstein

Ayn Rand and Vladimir Nabokov: The Issue of Literary Dialogue - Anna Kostenko

The Prohibition Against Psychologizing - Robert L. Campbell

Where There’s a Will, There’s a “Why”: A Critique of the Objectivist Theory of Volition - Roger E. Bissell

BOOK REVIEWS

Liberating Capitalism? (A review of Jason Brennan's book, Why Not Capitalism?) - Gary Chartier

Freedom and Fiction (Reviews of Literature and Liberty: Essays in Libertarian Literary Criticism by Allen P. Mendenhall and Exploring Capitalist Fiction: Business through Literature and Film by Edward W. Younkins) - Troy Camplin

Russian Radical: Twenty Years Later (A review of the second edition of Chris Matthew Sciabarra's book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical) - Wendy McElroy

DISCUSSION

Symposium on Marsha Familaro Enright’s essay, “The Problem with Selfishness”

- Reply to Marsha Familaro Enright: Selfishness and the OED - Arnold Baise

- Reply to Marsha Familaro Enright: Conceptual Classifications - Merlin Jetton

- Rejoinder to Arnold Baise and Merlin Jetton: Differing Conceptual Classifications for Selfishness - Marsha Familaro Enright

We know readers will enjoy the issue; it is already published online through JSTOR, but print versions will be arriving in the mailboxes of subscribes by July 10ish. For information on subscriptions, see here