March 3, 2009

TIMELY READING: Reader Bruce Webster writes:

I flew to LA and back (from Denver) today on business. On the way back, I stopped in a bookstore at LAX to get my usual travel-home-reading. I stopped by the classics table…and saw a stack of “Atlas Shrugged” (not one or two copies, but a face-up stack). Can’t remember the last time I saw that in an airport bookstore.

Didn’t buy it, though — the print was practically microscopic. Instead, bought the current slightly oversized edition of Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. I hadn’t read it in many years and was pleased (but not really surprised) at how well it holds up; the few technical anachronisms (and there are surprisingly few for a book written in 1966) are more than balanced by how very, very relevant it remains politically in 2009. I was surprised to rediscover how profoundly subversive a work it is, both politically and socially, likely outdoing all the “radical” literature that flower children and revolutionaries were inspired by in the 60s (most of whom considered Heinlein “fascist” — thus showing their profound ignorance of both Heinlein and fascism).

That these two books are in the airport bookstores now is obviously evidence of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

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