Isabel Paterson is widely recognized as an advocate of radical individualism and a prophet of the libertarian movement. She influenced a wide variety of libertarian and conservative writers and public figures, from Ayn Rand to William F. Buckley, Jr. In her own time, Paterson was noted as a literary critic and novelist, and one of the wittiest writers in America. She is best known for The God of the Machine, also published by Transaction.
Culture and Liberty includes many of Paterson's works that are out of print or have never before been published. Stephen Cox collected Paterson's words on themes she favored, illustrating leading features of her accomplishments and her views. Paterson's way of combining individualist ideas with provocative writing made people look forward to her next pronouncement on American culture. Her fame while she lived and worked and the continuing interest in her ideas and writing are monuments to a complex but strongly unified personality.
Paterson remains one of the most distinctive voices in American literary history—as this selection of her writings will indicate. This book is a must read for English majors, literary critics, humanities scholars, and students of American culture.
A Note on the Text
Abbreviations and References
Part I. Essays and Reviews
1. The True Individualist: Thoreau
2. The Reformer as Tyrant
3. What Is Known as a Practical Man
4. The Achievement of the Wright Brothers
5. American Concepts
6. But Is It True?
7. What Went Wrong
8. The Devolution of America
9. AQuestion of Privilege
10. Save Us, at Least, from Boredom
11. The Nobel Prize in Politics
12. The Culture of Communism
13. Freedom and Control
14. Whose Agent Is He?
15. Monkey-gland Economics
16. The Elusive Law of Wages
17. The Man with One Idea
18. What Do They Do All Day?
19. Adventures in Biology and Bunk
20. The Riddle of Chief Justice Taney in the Dred Scott Decision
21. Has the World Grown Smaller?
22. A Man of Destiny
23. Learning to Read: Child's Play
24. What the Christmas Story Means
Part II. Letters
25. Letters to 1940
26. Letters, 1940–1949
27. Letters, 1950 and After