Robert A. Heinlein, Feminist?
[cross-posted at Liberty and Culture] Thanks to David Beito for the guest blogging opportunity.
With the Heinlein Centenary celebrations scheduled for July 7, 2007, more and more stories about sf writer Robert A. Heinlein will start to surface. Long criticized by liberals, Heinlein (seen by many fans, writers, and critics as the first libertarian sf writer), gets a nod over at the New York Times (registration required) for his radical ideas instead of the usual reactionary claims. M.G. Lord's essay hints that Heinlein's radical ideas about women found better expressions in his earlier works, especially the less serious juvenile stories. Lord even praises parts of Starship Troopers, often mis-read as a"fascist" and"militaristic" work. Several of Heinlein's young female characters indeed appeared more capable and individualistic than their male counterparts, and tended to remind me of Harper Lee's Scout, from To Kill a Mockingbird. This may be a matter of opinion, but I tend to agree with the contrast between Heinlein's earlier and later books; works published after 1970 grew longer and more complex, but at the same time less interesting.
Anders Monsen earned a B.A. in English and History from the Univerisity of Texas at Austin. Awarded a Rapaport scholarship for honors studies, he wrote his thesis on the fiction of Charles Brockden Brown and William Godwin. Anders has published reviews in Ideer on Frihet, Laissiez Faire Books, NOVA Express, and Prometheus. He edited Prometheus, the newsletter of the Libertarian Futuist Society, from 1994-2000, and again since 2004. He also translated essays by Herbert Spencer, Gustave de Molinari, and Murray Rothbard into Norwegian.
Anders blogs on liberty and the arts, focusing on the cultural influence of liberty in fiction and movies. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.
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