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Ayn Rand's Philosophy and Life


Ayn RandOn May 9, 2008, New Atlantis contributing editor Algis Valiunas discussed Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism on National Public Radio's On the Media program. "Although she professed to live this life of reason," he said, "she herself lived a life of turbulent unreason."

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Algis Valiunas

Contributing Editor

Churchill's Military Histories by Algis ValiunasAlgis Valiunas is a New Atlantis contributing editor and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Trinity College, Cambridge, and the University of Chicago, where Saul Bellow was his doctoral dissertation adviser in the Committee on Social Thought.

In addition to The New Atlantis, his articles and essays have appeared in Commentary, the Weekly Standard, National Review, First Things, the American Spectator, the New Criterion, and the Claremont Review of Books. He is also the author of the book Churchill’s Military Histories (pictured at right).

Mr. Valiunas can be reached at avaliunas@thenewatlantis.com.


In The New Atlantis


The Marvelous Marie Curie

Number 37 ~ Fall 2012

Abraham Maslow and the All-American Self

Number 33 ~ Fall 2011

Psychology’s Magician

Number 31 ~ Spring 2011

The Last Temptation of Science

Number 30 ~ Winter 2011

The Science of Self-Help

Number 28 ~ Summer 2010

Scientists Fallen Among Poets

Number 27 ~ Spring 2010

Darwin’s World of Pain and Wonder

Number 26 ~ Fall 2009 - Winter 2010

The Great Breath of Hell

Number 23 ~ Winter 2009

Einstein’s Quest for Truth

Number 20 ~ Spring 2008

Melancholy’s Whole Physician

Number 17 ~ Summer 2007

The Agony of Atomic Genius

Number 14 ~ Fall 2006

Other Publications


  • “Unhappy the Man,” Weekly Standard, July 8, 2013
  • “The Spirit of ‘75?” Commentary, May 2013
  • “Godlike, Godly Tolstoy,” Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2012/13
  • “The Hart of the Matter,” Commentary, November 2012
  • “Have Much, Want Much,” Commentary, September 2012
  • “Courtier Prince,” Weekly Standard , July 2, 2012
  • “Winged Words,” Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2012
  • “The Cursed Poets and Their Gods,” First Things, February 2012
  • “Bernini’s Progress,” The Weekly Standard, March 3, 2014
  • “History as Literature,” Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2013
  • “God in the Details,” The Weekly Standard, May 6, 2013
  • “Left, Right, and Dickens," Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2012
  • “Huston Chronicle,” Weekly Standard, March 12, 2012
  • “King of Pain,” Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2011
  • “Oh, Kael,” Commentary, December 2011
  • “De Luxe,” Claremont Review of Books, Fall 2011
  • “Business and the Literati,” National Affairs, Fall 2011
  • “The Modern Sound,” The Weekly Standard, September 12, 2011
  • “And the War Came,” Commentary, July 2011
  • “At the Zoo,” Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2011
  • “The Sanest Man Ever,” Commentary, May 2011
  • “The Genius of the Place,” Commentary, March 2011
  • “Ralph Waldo Emerson, Big Talker,” Commentary, September 2010
  • “The Playboy and His Western World,” Commentary, May 2010
  • “Shall We Fight for King and Country?,” Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2009
  • “Arthur Koestler’s 20th-Century Darkness,” Commentary, February 2010
  • “‘Messiah’ Man,” Weekly Standard, December 28, 2009
  • “Writer on the Wild Side,” Commentary, December 2009
  • “Mastering the Master,” Commentary, November 2009
  • “The Naked Novelist and the Dead Reputation,” Commentary, September 2009
  • “Ring’s Inner Circle,” Weekly Standard, May 11, 2009
  • “Starlight in Hell,” First Things, May 2009
  • “O Joy! O Sorrow! O Cheever!,” Commentary, April 2009
  • “Socking the Angel,” The American Spectator, March 2009
  • “Notes for Moderns,” Weekly Standard, January 10, 2009
  • “No to Poe,” Commentary, January 2009
  • “The Critic Who Sometimes Exists,” Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2008
  • “The Blood of Upton Sinclair,” Commentary, May 2008
  • “‘Orfeo’ at 400,” Weekly Standard, May 10, 2008
  • “The Great Lover,” Weekly Standard, February 23, 2008
  • “Goethe’s Magnificent Self,” Commentary, January 2008
  • “Aryan Sister,” Claremont Review of Books, November 29, 2007
  • “Novel and Novelist,” Commentary, October 2007
  • “Bard’s Brain,” Weekly Standard, September 22, 2007
  • Fiction: “In Another Country,” Sewanee Review, Fall 2007
  • “The Sacred Heart of Victor Hugo,” First Things, August/September 2007
  • “Fire from the Sky,” Commentary, July/August 2007
  • “Encountering Islam,” Claremont Review of Books, Spring, 2007
  • “The Dreams of Your Youth,” American Spectator, May 2007
  • “American Idol,” American Spectator, March 2007
  • “Into the Sunset,” American Spectator, December 2006/January 2007
  • “Looking at Rembrandt,” Weekly Standard, December 25, 2006
  • “Diva & Anti-Diva,” Commentary, December 2006
  • “Of Men & Wolves,” Commentary, November 2006
  • “A Russian Master,” Weekly Standard, September 16, 2006
  • “Bad Trip,” Commentary, September 2006
  • “Tales of Islam,” Commentary, July/August 2006
  • “What Hath God Wrought?,” First Things, April 2006
  • “Depression,” Commentary, April 2006
  • “What James Agee Achieved,” Commentary, February 2006
  • “Spirit in the Abstract,” First Things, January 2006
  • “Sadness, Gladness -- and Serotonin,” Commentary, January 2006
  • “Philosophy in Democratic Times,” Claremont Review of Books, January 4, 2006
  • “Nation Building,” National Review, December 31, 2005
  • “Ode to Joy,” Weekly Standard, December 10, 2005
  • “Mental Health,” Weekly Standard, November 5, 2005
  • “Who Needs Ayn Rand?,” Commentary, September 2005
  • “Matters of Life and Death,” National Review, July 4, 2005
  • “Love at the Multiplex,” Commentary, May 2005
  • “A Long and Happy Life,” The New Criterion, May 2005
  • “The Great Black Hope,” Commentary, March 2005
  • “Funny Man,” Commentary, February 2005
  • “Mother’s Boy,” National Review, January 31, 2005
  • “Fleeting Light,” First Things, January 2005
  • “Sartre vs. Camus,” Commentary, January 2005
  • “Malignant Genius,” First Things, November 2004
  • “Wasp Nest,” Commentary, November 2004
  • “Democracy’s Composer,” Claremont Review of Books, October 28, 2004
  • “Cursed and Blessed,” National Review, September 13, 2004
  • “Nation Builder,” Commentary, June 2004
  • “Quixotic Adventures,” Weekly Standard, May 10, 2004
  • “The ‘Magic’ of Gabriel Garcia Marquez,” Commentary, April 2004
  • “Hanging Tree,” American Spectator, March 2004
  • “Prokofiev and the Wolf,” Weekly Standard, October 13, 2003
  • “Bellow’s Progress,” Commentary, September 2003
  • “Sister Sontag,” American Spectator, August 2003
  • “Dumas Among the Gods,” American Spectator, March 2003
  • “Self’s the Man,” American Spectator, January 2003
  • “The Great American Novel?,” Weekly Standard, December 16, 2002
  • “Paying for Jefferson’s Sins,” Commentary, November 2002
  • “Good Intentions Paving co.: Joshua Muravchick’s Heaven on Earth,” American Spectator, September 2002
  • “Bleak House,” Weekly Standard, August 5, 2002
  • “The Ashes of Napoleon,” Commentary, June 2002
  • “Bravo!,” Weekly Standard, October 22, 2001
  • “Ferocious Beauty,” Weekly Standard, August 11, 2001
  • “Pagans & Moderns,” Weekly Standard, May 28, 2001
  • “The Strenuous Life,” American Spectator, February 2001
  • “Proust’s Way,” Commentary, December 2000
  • “Of Time and the River,” American Spectator, September 2000
  • “Eros on 59th Street,” American Spectator, July/August 2000
  • “Immodest Ambition,” Weekly Standard, July 24, 2000
  • “Improving on History,” American Spectator, June 2000
  • “The Truth About Abe was Astonishing Enough,” American Spectator, April 2000
  • “Modern Times,” Weekly Standard, Weekly Standard, February 7, 2000
  • “Always the Loved One,” American Spectator, February 2000
  • “Lamp of the Lord,” Commentary, January 2000
  • “Hard Guy Discourse,” American Spectator, December 1999
  • “A Sport and a Pastime,” American Spectator, November 1999
  • “Hell in a Very Small Place,” American Spectator, October 1999
  • “The Man who Hated Sherlock Holmes,” Weekly Standard, August 30, 1999
  • “Talking of Michelangelo,” Weekly Standard, August 9, 1999
  • “I am the Man,” Commentary, June 1999
  • “The Correspondence of Love and War,” American Spectator, June 1999
  • “Hard Times,” Commentary, April 1999
  • “Connoisseur of Error,” American Spectator, April 1999
  • “Blood-Soaked Clown,” Weekly Standard, March 1, 1999
  • “Evil Empire,” American Spectator, February 1999
  • “Sophisticates Abroad,” Weekly Standard, December 21, 1998
  • “Innocents Abroad,” Commentary, November 1998
  • “The Thinking Man’s Hitler,” American Spectator, October 1998
  • “Learning from the Greeks,” Commentary, August 1998
  • “Exalting the Ordinary,” Commentary, January 1998
  • “Jeremiah?,” Commentary, November 1997
  • “Every Creeping Thing,” Commentary, October 1997
  • “Self and Soul,” Commentary, July 1997
  • “Flaubert,” American Spectator, July 1993
  • “Letters, 1905-1965,” American Spectator, December 1992
  • “Leonardo,” American Spectator, August 1992
  • “A Ground War for All Time: Churchill’s Forgotten Masterpiece,” American Spectator, April 1991
  • “The Miami Spectator/Desperado,” American Spectator, February 1991
  • “Homage to Lithuania,” American Spectator, July 1990
  • “Mozart Goes American,” American Spectator, January 1990
  • “The Rape of Poland and the Death of Hope,” American Spectator, September 1989
  • “Tolstoy and the Pursuit of Happiness,” Commentary, June 1989
  • “Black and White Mischief in Chicago,” American Spectator, October 1988
  • “In the Capital of Modern Cruelty,” Commentary, January 1987