The Libertarian Tradition

A History of Ayn Rand

BiographiesWorld HistoryPolitical Theory

Ayn Rand's books sell between eight hundred thousand and a million copies a year. Her first novel We the Living was admired by Mencken. Night of January 16th opened on Broadway. Her major novel The Fountainhead (1943) was "masterful". Atlas Shrugged (1957) was Rand's magnus opus.
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A Renegade History of the United States

Thaddeus Russell's Renegade History is highly recommended for showing, among many other things, that both individualism and Puritanism thrived in America even while they were political antagonists.
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A Toast to Lysander Spooner


Spooner was an American individualist anarchist with radical opinions on everything. His true calling was writing pamphlets and books on issues of the day. His most famous work was The Unconstitutionality of Slavery. No Treason is his most anarchistic political tract (1867).
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Alan Bock: Persuasion for Liberty

As the fastest good writer, Bock was an intellectual libertarian doing the daily heavy lifting required to engage in the war of ideas.
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Albert Jay Nock (1870–1945)

"As long as the easy, attractive, superficial philosophy of Statism remains in control of the citizen's mind, no beneficent social change can be effected, whether by revolution or by any other means."...
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America Aflame

Goldfield's book fails at revisionism. The author does not grapple with the truth that the Civil War was not about slavery, that war does not boost an economy, and that Lincoln did not need to wage that war anyway.
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Anarchism and Terrorism in the '90s

The wave of bombings and assassinations perpetrated by anarchists during the 1890s was largely a fiction. To some extent, it was frankly invented by sensation-mongering writers who hoped to sell newspapers.
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Ayn Rand and the Early Libertarian Movement


In Ayn Rand and the World She Made Heller goes to bat for Rand as a fiction writer. Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns is a poorer book because it is confused.
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Benjamin Tucker: American Individualist Anarchist


Tucker was a proponent, in the 19th century, of American individualist anarchism. He opposed war because it destroyed liberty, but he favored the allies. Tucker's contribution was as much through his publishing as his own writing.
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C. M. Kornbluth (1923–1958)

Although as a young man Kornbluth held leftist political views, he grew to share Rothbardian-style sentiments about the state. To Kornbluth the state was obviously just another criminal gang. His book The Syndic won the Libertarian Futurist Society's Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 1986.
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