And now for some reads of a slightly different bent Offbeat: Greenspan's youthful escapade. Feminists and smut. The Civil War.


November 02, 1997|By Scot Lehigh | Scot Lehigh,BOSTON GLOBE

If you're tired of the same stale celebrities playing musical chairs on the cover of the glossy mainstream monthlies, maybe it's time to seek out more offbeat offerings. The November issue of Liberty, for example, presents a fascinating portrait of a young Alan Greenspan as an Ayn Rand acolyte back when libertarians were objectivists, social contempt was individual virtue, and rape, in the warped world view of the movement's high priestess, was the ultimate act of Nietzschean courtship.

Greenspan's membership in the group came despite Rand's initial suspicion about his ideological orientation. "A logical positivist and a Keynesian? I'm not even sure it is moral to deal with him at all" was her initial reaction to the young musician-cum-economist. Yet soon the young Greenspan was reading "Atlas Shrugged" chapter by chapter, as it pulsed from Rand's pen, which just may help explain why he is no longer a Keynesian or a logical positivist.

So is Greenspan advancing at the Fed the ideas he learned at Rand's feet? Can a libertarian morally serve as a regulator? And would it be better for individual liberty in the long run if the Fed chairman chose a crash course over a soft landing? Admit it: Those are questions you've never seen debated in any mainstream mag.

New view on pornography

In a country where the idea of morality has always been more religious than utilitarian, it's hard indeed to find an intelligent discussion of cutting-edge sexual issues. But Free Inquiry, the international magazine of secular humanism, gives the reader just that in its fall issue.

Wendy McElroy, author of "XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography," goes far beyond the usual grudging First Amendment defense of pornography to an enthusiastic feminist embrace of all things smutty and salacious. "Historically, pornography and feminism have been fellow travelers and natural allies," she argues, because "they both demand the same social conditions -- namely, sexual freedom."

Civil War Times

Have you forgotten which old soldier was called "Old Rough and Ready" and which was known as "Old Fuss and Feathers"?

Then it's time to check in with Civil War Times.

The December issue marks the 135th anniversary of the battle of Fredericksburg with several different perspectives on one of the worst Union defeats of the war.

It's the victory that moved Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to utter his famous epigram: "It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it." And the loss that prompted Abraham Lincoln to remark: "If there is a worse place than hell, I am in it."

Pub Date: 11/02/97

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