The Pennsylvania State University
Cover for the book Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

The Russian Radical Chris Matthew Sciabarra
  • Copyright: 2013
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 544 pages
  • Illustrations: 17 b&w illustrations
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-271-06227-3
  • Second Edition
“Brilliant and pathbreaking. . . . Much more could be written in praise and in critique of Russian Radical because it is one of those rare books from which a reader raises her head every few pages and wonders, “Do I agree?” These are the books in life that make a wonderful intellectual difference because they inspire thought on a fundamental level.”

Author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (1905–1982) is one of the most widely read philosophers of the twentieth century. Yet, despite the sale of over thirty million copies of her works, there have been few serious scholarly examinations of her thought. Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical provides a comprehensive analysis of the intellectual roots and philosophy of this controversial thinker.

It has been nearly twenty years since the original publication of Chris Sciabarra’s Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. Those years have witnessed an explosive increase in Rand sightings across the social landscape: in books on philosophy, politics, and culture; in film and literature; and in contemporary American politics, from the rise of the Tea Party to recent presidential campaigns. During this time Sciabarra continued to work toward the reclamation of the dialectical method in the service of a radical libertarian politics, culminating in his book Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism (Penn State, 2000).

In this new edition of Ayn Rand, Chris Sciabarra adds two chapters that present in-depth analysis of the most complete transcripts to date documenting Rand’s education at Petrograd State University. A new preface places the book in the context of Sciabarra’s own research and the recent expansion of interest in Rand’s philosophy. Finally, this edition includes a postscript that answers a recent critic of Sciabarra’s historical work on Rand. Shoshana Milgram, Rand’s biographer, has tried to cast doubt on Rand’s own recollections of having studied with the famous Russian philosopher N. O. Lossky. Sciabarra shows that Milgram’s analysis fails to cast doubt on Rand’s recollections—or on Sciabarra’s historical thesis.

Chris Matthew Sciabarra received his Ph.D. in political philosophy, theory, and method in the Department of Politics at New York University. He is the author of Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism (Penn State, 2000) and co-editor, with Mimi Reisel Gladstein, of Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand (Penn State, 1999). He is also one of the editors of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.


Preface to the Second Edition




1 Synthesis in Russian Culture

2 Lossky, the Teacher

3 Educating Alissa

4 The Maturation of Ayn Rand


5 Being

6 Knowing

7 Reason and Emotion

8 Art, Philosophy, and Efficacy

9 Ethics and Human Survival

10 A Libertarian Politics


11 Relations of Power

12 The Predatory State

13 History and Resolution


Appendix I: The Rand Transcript (1999)

Appendix II: The Rand Transcript, Revisited (2005)

Appendix III: A Challenge to Russian Radical—and Ayn Rand (2013)




Other Ways to Acquire

Buy from
Buy from an Independent Bookstore
Buy from Powell's Books
Get the Kobo Edition
Get the iBook Edition

Also of Interest

Also of interest book cover

Total Freedom

Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism
Also of interest book cover

Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand

Also of Interest from Other University Presses

Also of interest book cover

Goddess of the Market

Ayn Rand and the American Right