From Left, Right, and Center

Robert James Bidinotto, author of Criminal Justice?

"A stunning piece of philosophical scholarship. The effort by the author is to take Rand seriously as a philosopher by examining the intellectual and personal roots of her thinking. Sciabarra's book presents the thesis (controversial in some circles) that it is extremely important to examine Rand's development in terms of the influences and controversies that surrounded her in Russia and which were transmitted to her by her university teachers. Whether one agrees ultimately with the author or not, his ambitious effort to discover Rand's roots extended to his personally conducting original research in Leningrad, and interviewing contemporaries and descendants of her college teachers. In addition, Sciabarra seems to have read virtually everything anyone has ever written or said about Rand, and tries to sort through the competing interpretations by rendering Rand's ideas in contemporary philosophical terms. This is a book for serious scholars and Rand enthusiasts, who will profit from a critical reading."

Barbara Branden, author of The Passion of Ayn Rand, and long-time associate of Ayn Rand's:

"Sciabarra's thesis is a brilliant, intellectually daring, and completely first-hand approach to the philosophy of Ayn Rand, impressively researched and written with elegant simplicity and clarity. He demonstrates, as no writer has done before, that essential to the structure and content of Rand's philosophy -- as it was essential to the Russian philosophers with whom she studied as a girl in Russia -- was the attempt to overcome philosophical dualism in all its forms and manifestations. He demonstrates, as no writer has done before, why Rand said that she had developed a philosophical SYSTEM and an indivisible system. It has been a long time since I have read a book on philosophy non-stop from beginning to end, and with such a feeling of excitement, as if it were a fascinating mystery and I had to know how it all added up. This book will be read and argued about for many years; but it will be READ by anyone interested in Ayn Rand and/or the history of philosophy."

Nathaniel Branden, author of The Six Pillars of Self Esteem, and long-time associate of Ayn Rand's:

"The book is a study of the thought of Ayn Rand from the perspective, principally, of early Russian influences on her way of thinking, and philosophizing . . . I think this is the most important book ever written about her work. First, it is an extraordinary work of original scholarship. . . . Beyond that, it is an extraordinarily lucid and illuminating analysis of the key themes in her work and the relationship of her ideas to other Western philosophers. . . . Sciabarra has brought Ayn Rand into the history of philosophy, as no one else has done."

Stephen Cox, author of Love and Logic: The Evolution of Blake's Thought:

"Chris Sciabarra's intellectual detective work sheds new light on the Russian background of a distinguished American writer and provides a fresh perspective on the scope and complexity of her achievement. This is an unusually interesting and important book, one that every student of Rand will want to read."

John Hospers, author of An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis, and many other publications:

"This is the most thorough and scholarly work ever done on Ayn Rand. It is also very engagingly written and commands attention throughout. Of all the noteworthy features of the book, the most unique is the lengthy description of Ayn Rand's early years, her education in Russia, and particularly of the teachers who influenced her and had a lasting influence on the structure of her thought."

Tibor Machan, author of Individuals and their Rights and numerous other publications:

"Ayn Rand is now a recognized `player' on the philosophical field. Her essays are often reprinted in collections used in ethics, political philosophy, and other courses. Several books have been written about Rand but none with the philosophical depth and scope of AYN RAND: THE RUSSIAN RADICAL. Rand's ideas could well acquire a serious scholarly reputation by virtue of the detailed study of their origins and content presented in this book. It brings to light information about Rand's philosophical education that is not available elsewhere and shows that this education was substantial. Rand's ideas will no longer be able to be dismissed as merely shallow ideology. Sciabarra shows them, rather, as partaking in a dialogue that has been ongoing in various forums throughout the global philosophical community, specifically Europe and Russia. Rand, as this book demonstrates, spoke to ancient and modern philosophical concerns and did so in a unique fashion, deploying her ideas in literary as well as systematic form in a way reminiscent of existentialists like Sartre and Camus. Only, for Rand, this intellectual immersion in both literature and formal philosophy came in support of a unique synthesis of philosophical ideas that have not previously been subjected to the kind of thoroughgoing critical treatment that this book provides."

Bertell Ollman, author of Alienation and Dialectical Investigations:

"Ayn Rand, a radical? A comrade of Marx, methodologically speaking? Libertarians and Marxists BEWARE, because Sciabarra makes a solid case for his astounding claim. An eye-opening work, and a pleasure to read!"

Douglas B. Rasmussen, co-editor of The Philosophic Thought of AynRand, and author of many publications:

"By offering a new hermeneutic -- one suggested by an examination of possible influences on Rand while still a student in Russia -- Sciabarra shows that Rand is best understood as a post-Modern thinker, for she was really concerned with creating a culture that overcame the dichotomies of modernity: empiricism/rationalism; facts/values; body/mind; and prudence/morality. This important and thoughtful work will change how the views of this deep and disturbing thinker are understood."

Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, editor, Nietzsche in Russia and Nietzsche and Soviet Culture:

"This book reveals the distinctively Russian aspects of Ayn Rand's philosophy. As such, it is a major contribution to the public's knowledge and understanding of this controversial and still-popular writer."

George Walsh, author of The Role of Religion in History and co-translator of Alfred Schutz's Phenomonology of the Social World:

"I regard the book as an excellent piece of work. The primary contribution of this book is that it presents a startling new interpretation of Ayn Rand's thought. Sciabarra's search for concrete evidence is exemplary. His massive account of Rand's thought in dialectical terms is ingenious and creative in the extreme. I think it will make Sciabarra's book one of the major commentaries on Objectivism, and, in fact the only major account of Rand's intellectual development. And I think it will provoke an immense amount of discussion."


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