All posts by Alan Wolfe

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Alan Wolfe: Why I Was Dropped at ‘TNR’

“Hughes Drops Jews” is one eye-catching title for a news item. “Hughes” is the young, rich, and well-connected Chris Hughes, new owner of The New Republic. “Jews” are some contributing editors of the magazine. The item appeared online in TheWashington Free Beacon, which bills itself as “dedicated to uncovering the stories that the professional left hopes will never see the light of day.” It is edited by Matthew Continetti, a Sarah Palin enthusiast and son-in-law of Republican neoconservative…

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Identity Politics Run Amok

Just how strong are the University of California’s commitments to academic freedom and free speech? When the California Assembly, by unanimous vote, passed a resolution this week calling on public universities to ban all public funds for any activities that could be viewed as anti-Semitic, university officials ducked. Citing First Amendment concerns, they didn’t condemn the resolution. Instead, they said they would remain neutral. It wasn’t the first time in recent months that they have tr…

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The Ridiculous Rise of Ayn Rand

Interview with CBS’s Mike Wallace, 1959.

When the literary editor of The New Republic asked me to review two new books on Ayn Rand three years ago, I readily agreed. Rand, the Russian-born writer known for her take-no-prisoners defense of capitalism, was beginning to come back into vogue among conservatives, and I recalled hearing that there was a congressman from Wisconsin who was singing her praises and assigning her writings to his staff. I had had my own flirtation with Rand, when I was 18, …