Los Angeles: Pamphleteers, 1945. Early edition. In The Freeman (Volume II: Number 1), 1945. Revised from the 1936 first edition. Original paper wraps stapled at spine. A tight, square copy of this rare pamphlet with provenance from Ayn Rand's library and containing her extensive annotations and marginalia. The present work last sold at auction at Bonham's in 2005 for $3,818.
Considered by William F. Buckley as one of the "three furies of Libertarianism" alongside Isabel Paterson and Ayn Rand, Rose Wilder Lane drew on her own Communist past to rally readers around the central tenets of unconstrained individual liberty. "Why is individual liberty losing ground so rapidly?" Lane begins her treatise. "It is not because Americans lack the courage to defend it. If any one reason can be singled out it is that we take our liberty for granted...most of us are not alert to the present dangers." Throughout the work, which touches on a topic of central concern to her colleague and the pamphlet's owner Ayn Rand, pencil annotations from the infamous Objectivist writer appear in the margins. While some are underscores or question marks, the majority of Rand's marginal notes include two words: "good God!" A total of eight times Rand makes exclamations of this sort in response to Lane's descriptions of centralized economic power in the Soviet Union, the problem of semantic slippage across languages that allows for indoctrination, and the diminishing role of selfish interest in the social contract. With the recent release of her novel The Fountainhead behind her, Rand appears to be reading works that will help her hone and even more accurately articulate her beliefs in the importance of privileging self-interest above all else. Within the publisher's catalogue at the rear, titled "Suggestions for a Liberal's Library," Rand has checked off twelve of the thirty-two titles, including others by Lane and Paterson.
Bonham's lot 3150 (2005). Provenance: From the private collection of Jay T. Snider Fine (Item #2749)