Filed under: Conservatism
Reporters these days are chafing against the restrictions of journalistic pseudo-objectivity, and using cool irony as a way to tell the truth through the haze. Magazine writers labor under fewer such restrictions, but they’re often picking up the trick, too. Here’s Jonathan Chait’s review of a biography of the Russian Jewish right-wing intellectual Alissa Rosenbaum, better known as Ayn Rand:
Rosenbaum dreamed of fame as a novelist and a scriptwriter, and fled to the United States in 1926, at the age of twenty-one. There she adopted her new name, for reasons that remain unclear.
Heh. For reasons that remain unclear. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; everyone did it back then. Well, not everyone. Not Julius Epstein, who wrote the script of “Casablanca”. And not the Marx Brothers, despite having a Jewish name that might have been just slightly more disadvantageous than most in those years. Not Louis Mayer or Samuel Goldwyn or… So, maybe there is just a little bit wrong with it.
Add: Actually, I take it back. There was clearly a lot wrong with it. It’s somewhat polemical to state that Rand changed her name from Alissa Rosenbaum to Ayn Rand, had her chief acolyte change his name from Nathan Blumenthal to Nathaniel Branden, and opposed fighting the Nazis. But it’s also true. Her shade has a lot of explaining to do.
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