Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stevens Recommends Fred Cookinham's 'The Age Of Rand: Imagining An Objectivist Future World'

Dr. Tom Stevens, Objectivist Party Chair, has recommended that members of the Objectivist Party read The Age of Rand: Imagining An Objectivist Future World written by Fred Cookinham. This book can be bought new or used from at:

Frederick Cookinham offers a series of walking tours called Ayn Rand’s New York. He has been observing the Objectivist and libertarian movements for forty-one years, and has written for several movement magazines. He lives in Queens, New York with his wife, Belen. Visit his website, for more information. Mr. Cookinham earned his Bachelor's Degree in American History at Cortland State College in 1976, and his Master's at Brooklyn College in 1987.

One review of his book, "The Age Of Rand: Imagining An Objectivist Future World", written by Judith Byorick was the following:

Ayn Rand and Objectivism have inspired a substantial and growing number of written works. Most of them deal with either biographical matters or analyses of her philosophy.

This book is different. The Age of Rand assumes at least a working knowledge of Rand's works on the reader's part; to quote from the introduction, "Relating, integrating, finding the connections -- between Rand's past, present and future, her place in the long perspective of history -- that is the purpose of this book."

The author takes Rand's vision and runs with it -- in a number of different directions, speculating on how a future world in which Rand's ideas have been widely or universally adopted might look. But wait -- there's more. This "speculation" about such a future isn't simply fanciful fantasizing based on utopian dreams, but is grounded in a broad and thorough knowledge of history, and is well supported with examples from past events and long-term trends. The book also includes excellent arguments in support of Objectivism, and provides a great deal of practical advice on how to get to the "Age of Rand".

Some of the treats in store for the reader: a superb analysis of the true nature of altruism; and a fascinating synthesis of the minarchist position and the anarchist position guaranteed to generate intense discussion. The book is beautifully written, with a richness, depth, and clarity that make the reading a pleasure. The author doesn't hesitate to criticize Rand where criticism is called for, and certainly doesn't hesitate to improve on the master's work. But such criticisms and improvements are in the details, not in the essentials. Running through every chapter is Cookinham's quiet, steady passion for Rand's vision for life as it might be and ought to be.

Dr. Stevens says: "It is a fast, easy read packed full of interesting historical facts and many ideas about what an Objectivist Future World might look like. I highly recommend it!

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