Friday, June 10, 2011

News about a Book in Development, Plus Upcoming Piece on Ayn Rand

(As always, you can learn more about my writing at

In May, my wife and I had the most relaxing vacation that I can remember.  One day, I decided to do a little writing just for fun while Annie was napping.  It felt great.  I put together a few pages on a topic that I think is important and that would be relatively easy and fun to write more about.  I have since been thinking of it as a book project.  I've pitched the idea to a literary agent contact in NYC, who has responded well to it.  The book would (tentatively) be called The Meaning of Moderation: On the Virtue of Centrism in Politics.

The main idea is to talk about the amazing divide that has widened between the political voices in the public sphere.  Aristotle, as well as a number of other important philosophers, have argued quite persuasively that virtue is a matter of the mean between extremes of behavior.  I don't want to say too much about this project at such an early stage, but it is pretty exciting and has gotten me energized about a new writing project.

Working on the issue of moderation, however, has made me more attuned than usual to the voices that push hard lines.  Lately, we've seen Senator Rand Paul (KY) and others talking about Ayn Rand, even quoting her in official meetings.  Thinking about her and others like Senator Bernie Sanders's (VT) socialist stance got me thinking about how odd a match Ayn Rand is for G.O.P., but for others as well.  She has fans across the political spectrum, given her stances on small government as well as her liberal social views.

Questions about how to think about Rand and the odd kind of political inspiration she must be for some folks inspired me to write a piece about her fit in American politics.  I thought it might be a stab at thinking about political moderation on the topic of business and government regulation, therefore connected to the Meaning of Moderation project.  The piece is a newspaper op-ed that will come out in The Clarion Ledger around early July.  When that comes out, I'll post it here on my blog, as I've done with earlier pieces.

Finally, some general news about my writing: My second book, Morality, Leadership, and Public Policy, is now out in the U.K. and will be released in the U.S. in July.  Plus, my third book, Democracy and Leadership, will be done this summer, to come out in 2012 with Lexington Books.  I'm still working on revisions to my proposal for my fourth book, Culture Bound: Overcoming Self-Fulfilling Prophecies of Failure in Education.  Plus, I've started hearing good news about the sales of my first book, a pretty technical one called Rawls, Dewey, and Constructivism.  This is welcome news, mainly because once it has sold a certain number of copies (getting close, I think), the publisher may decide to release it as a paperback, which would be much cheaper and would be much more accessibly priced, therefore, for a lot of people (poor scholars and grad students!).  Finally, two reviews have come out about RDC.  One by Shane Ralston is on here and the other by Richard Cotter will come out in Political Studies Review, but is available now here on

Thanks for reading!

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