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While the New Left achieved limited political success, it brought about vast cultural changes that remain with us to this day. The reason is that while its representatives faced some political opposition, they faced little-to-no fundamental intellectual opposition.
Ayn Rand was the exception. In her essays from this period, anthologized in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, she opposed the New Left as no one else did. The audience for the book, she wrote, is "all those who are concerned about college students and about the state of modern education" and who are seeking "a voice of reason to turn to".
In her essays, Ayn Rand identified the essential evils of the New Left and their cause. Where most viewed the New Left and its violent college protests, its worship of untouched nature, and its orgiastic mob celebrations as some sort of inexplicable, youthful rebellion against the "establishment", Ayn Rand identified these "rebels" as in fact dutiful, consistent practitioners of the ideas taught to them by their teachers.
Return of the Primitive is an expanded edition of The New Left. It features the entire contents of the original edition authorized by Ayn Rand, plus two of her other essays, "Racism" and "Global Balkanization", which are highly relevant to today's campuses and world. Additionally, it features three essays written after her death by Peter Schwartz, analyzing some of the ideologies that the New Left helped spawn, such as multiculturalism and environmentalism.
For those who seek to understand the state of American culture today, Return of the Primitive is required reading.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Phyllis on 05-13-12
Why Hadn't I Read or Listened to This Book Sooner?
This book is as relevant today (actually, more so) than it was in the late 60's. I just wish I would have read it sooner! An intellectually damning indictment of the New Left and Progressive Movements that have corrupted the U.S. educational system from kindergarden to grad school. Not to mention the deleterious affects this has had on capitalism and American society. Ayn Rand gives a penetrating explanation of the faulty logic used and perpetuated by specific groups to maintain their hold on considerable numbers of people. Forming their attitudes from childhood and thus conditioning their dependence well into adulthood. Leaving the responsible people to pick up after and support an ever growing population of unenlightened, mis-informed, self-centered, and depressed people.
The Audible version is flawless and I'm sure to listen to it again and again. Highly Recommended!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Mica on 01-18-10
Extreemly relevant to our current climate
Ayn's razor sharp depiction of the mind set underlying the anti progress progressive green movement is a must listen. Schwartz's essay are passable, though perhaps less intellectually rigorous. Keep in mind this is not an entertaining audiobook. It is a glimpse at a political movement, it's conceptual foundation and the circumstances surrounding their "revolution"
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anchor on 07-14-13
My best read this year. It is about us...
Would you consider the audio edition of Return of the Primitive to be better than the print version?
Depending on perception. I have a bad eye sight. So yes I consume better by listening. But after listening this one I have bought the print version. I just had to get other people to see some of it and to be able to quote it.
What other book might you compare Return of the Primitive to, and why?
Other work of Ayn Rand. Especially the virtue of selfishness.
Have you listened to any of Bernadette Dunne’s other performances? How does this one compare?
not before. I don't think so.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Yes. I am a school teacher and those first chapters about "progressive" education made me ache...
50 years ago this type of education have created hippies... Why are we starting it again?
Any additional comments?
I think every person who is responsible for an upbringing of the new generation (officials and parents) should read it. And if they have any ability to reason they should learn from it a great deal.