You may have noticed that something is missing: This is the first issue of TOS that has not included an article on foreign policy or war. Having said so much on that subject over the past eighteen months, we decided a reprieve was in order. What is in this issue, however, is fuel for the soul and feast for the eyes.

In the lead article, “The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History,” Yaron Brook presents an essentialized history of usury, showing that, just as moneylenders are being damned and blamed for today’s “sub-prime mortgage crisis,” so they have been condemned and castigated for alleged wrongdoing from the beginning of Western civilization. Brook zeros in on the economic and moral premises that give rise to contempt for this profession; he identifies the moral-practical dichotomy inherent in these ideas; and he discusses a unified set of principles that must be understood and embraced if moneylending is to be seen as the noble business that it actually is.

In “Transfiguring the Novel: The Literary Revolution in Atlas Shrugged,” Andrew Bernstein celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus (which was published on October 10, 1957) by examining key aspects of the book’s artistic elements. Focusing on Rand’s dramatization of the plot-theme, her use of literary techniques, and the nature and significance of key figures in the story, Bernstein shows how Rand employed such elements to tap the full potential of this supremely conceptual art form and thus to create a thoroughly integrated novel.

In “How to Analyze and Appreciate Paintings,” Dianne Durante provides a step-by-step method for viewing, assessing, and enjoying this rich visual medium. The article is accompanied by fifteen images of the paintings discussed, some of which are a feast, others of which are a foil. (As always, larger images of the paintings can be viewed at our website.)

Finally, I am pleased to announce that TOS now sells promotional merchandise such as T-shirts and mugs. I hope you will take advantage of this excellent means of spreading the word that there is a rational alternative to liberalism and conservatism.

Enjoy the issue!

—Craig Biddle
Editor and Publisher

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