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Palgrave Studies in Literature, Culture and Economics

Questioning Ayn Rand

Subjectivity, Political Economy, and the Arts

Editors: Cocks, Neil (Ed.)

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  • Develops an analysis of how Objectivist economics fetishizes the individual and the object, repressing social relations
  • Connects Rand to that of writers not usually read in the context of Objectivism, including Emerson, Marx, and Arendt
  • Questions what are presently understood to be the most radical readings of Rand’s work
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About this book

Questioning Ayn Rand: Subjectivity, Political Economy, and the Arts offers a sustained academic critique of Ayn Rand’s works and her wider Objectivist philosophy. While Rand’s texts are often dismissed out of hand by those hostile to the ideology promoted within them, these essays argue instead that they need to be taken seriously and analysed in detail. Rand’s influential worldview does not tolerate uncertainty, relying as it does upon a notion of truth untroubled by doubt. In contrast, the contributors to this volume argue that any progressive response to Rand should resist the dubious comforts of a position of ethical or aesthetic purity, even as they challenge the reductive individualistic ideology promoted within her writing. Drawing on a range of sources and approaches from Psychoanalysis to The Gold Standard and from Hannah Arendt to Spiderman, these essays consider Rand’s works in the context of wider political, economic, and philosophical debates.


About the authors

Neil Cocks is Associate Professor of Literary Perspective in the Department of English Literature, University of Reading, UK. He is the author of Higher Education Discourse and Deconstruction: Challenging the Case for Transparency and Objecthood (Palgrave 2017) and The Peripheral Child in Nineteenth Century Literature and its Criticism (Palgrave 2014).

Reviews

“This dazzling partisan reading of Ayn Rand makes the case for the importance of a debate that has not quite happened yet. Finally giving an answer to the question of why Rand is valued so highly in the marketplace of ideas, this book is a critique of neo-liberal politics, pedagogy, psychology, and cultural criticism which does not let us wallow in the purity of our dissent.” (Daniela Caselli, Professor of Modern Literature, The University of Manchester, UK) 

​“There’s hardly been a more urgent time to discuss Ayn Rand. And we ignore her at our peril. Reading Rand gives us a front-row ticket to the theories and principles of capitalist economies and man unburdened by être-pour-autrui. Her novels and philosophical writing gives us license to be a fly-on-the-wall in a board meeting of a profit-driven firm before it’s coated with the gloss of corporate social responsibility. It’s the raw product before it can be shown to people with a conscience. 

This fantastic volume proves, once and for all, that it would be insufficient to leave Rand at the door and away from the grown-ups. Rand reveals the true, unfettered expression of a politics that is too powerful today. A political worldview that is currently responsible for how we approach a crisis and emerge from it. The Left must read Rand. She’s far too important to be chucked.” (Carl Packman, author of Payday Lending: Global Growth of the High-Cost Credit Market (Palgrave 2014))

 

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-53073-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Questioning Ayn Rand
Book Subtitle
Subjectivity, Political Economy, and the Arts
Editors
  • Neil Cocks
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Culture and Economics
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-53073-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-53073-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-53072-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 241
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations, 4 illustrations in colour
Topics

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