Review, kinda
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Author:  holmesiv [ Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Review, kinda

Not sure if this belongs here, but if it belongs somewhere else, please move it: ... se-wooster

Author:  PeterScott [ Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Review, kinda

Good catch, sir.

Author:  holmesiv [ Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Review, kinda

Author:  RobertPearson [ Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Review, kinda

In a positive way, I believe. Interesting review. I did some searching a few months back and found several reviews but not this one. Thanks for pointing it out.

Author:  JamesGifford [ Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Review, kinda

*sigh* Same canned, programmatic and ronngg analysis of RAH that's been spouted for years, now new and improved. See, Heinlein wasn't actually a liberal in his early days... he just "thought of himself as" one. And then swung over/changed/came out of the closet because he married a right-thinking woman.

Wake me when there's something new, in either mainstream comments about Heinlein or conservative punditry in the foxblock era.

Author:  PeterScott [ Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Review, kinda

I believe Katherine Hepburn said that she didn't care what the press printed about her as long as it wasn't true. So in one sense any mention of Bob is a plus.

Author:  JamesGifford [ Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Review, kinda

Author:  holmesiv [ Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Review, kinda

Love it, James. I posted the link because I knew it would spark discussion.
So what was the old boy? Socialist, libertarian, what? The only thing we know for sure was that he was Republican, because he said so. (Hum, just set myself up, having called Republicans liars. But RAH never held office.)

Author:  JamesGifford [ Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Review, kinda

You've been around here long enough that you should know the answer - at least, better than to ask such a generically-phrased question.

The very short answer is that Heinlein's political philosophy appears to have remained remarkably consistent throughout his adult life. His compass was steady; it was the winds that changed around him. For this to make sense, you have to have a grasp of the fact that terms like "liberal," "conservative," "Republican" and "Democrat" (not to mention "socialist" and the Scottish Political Orientation) change meaning over time, sometimes radically. There is far less difference between Heinlein the 1930s "social democrat" and Heinlein the 1970s "libertarian" than there is in the meaning and interpretation of those labels over that time span. You have to keep in mind that when you're talking about "what Heinlein was" you're talking about a mercurial and hard to interpret figure over some 50 years of his life and during one of the most tumultuous eras - or several of them - in our history. There is no simple, one-label, meaningful answer because the labels and the context shifted several times in that span.

But no, lazy idiotlogues fumbling for a convenient metaphor to bolster their limited concepts keep reaching for that old, dull "RAH was liberal until he growed up and/or his second wife warped/shamed him into being a reactionary" saw. Even when the big, fat book they supposedly just read makes the real case clear.

Just proves that being able to write at the National Review level doesn't indicate an ability to read past sixth grade level.

Author:  JJGarsch [ Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Review, kinda

This National Review piece says more about NR's own decline than about anything else. I'm a liberal myself but still recognize that when Wm. F. Buckley was around, the magazine was primarily about ideas and justified its own existence. But something like this - "Hm, let's see whether we can tag a well-known writer as a conservative, so that he can be made a Member of the Tribe, at least in retrospect" - is spurious on its face.

I would also note here that Isaac Asimov, not easily characterizable as a "lazy ideologue," said the same thing about the influence of Virginia: "Robert Heinlein, however, who was a burning liberal during the war, became a burning conservative afterward, the change coming at about the time he swapped wives from the liberal Leslyn to the conservative Virginia." (I. Asimov, p. 311 of the paperback; the next sentence is "I doubt that Heinlein would call himself a conservative, of course.")

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