New Rush Book No Longer Sold Out

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Thanks for the big show of support for my book, Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence. The book has been listed as sold out on Amazon, but as of today the site says it’s in stock. The book was released on Monday, and it’s gratifying to see interest in it among fans of the band.

The book is my effort to show that Rush’s music is unique in just how consistent it holds to a few philosophical moral principles. Starting with the band’s bold statements in “Anthem” and “Something for Nothing” and ending with the 12 chapters of Clockwork Angels, the band over its 40 years has built virtually every piece it’s written on a bedrock of Aristotelian virtue ethics. This idea isn’t unique to me. Several of the contributors to Rush and Philosophy, which came out in 2011, talk about the Aristotelian connection in the band’s music. But I’ve tried to take this further by showing how pretty much everything the band has done falls under this framework. When you add the band’s humanism into the mix, you have a very stable philosophical view, one that provides an antidote to the existential despair that people are prone to fall into if they don’t have religion or some other organizing principle to give them solace.

cover-amazOne of the genuinely unique contributions I tried to make among all that’s been written is to show how music from the late 1980s and the 1990s ties in with early works that seem so libertarian. Songs like “The Big Money,” “Open Secrets,” “Hand Over Fist,” and others from that era seem to have little to do with the individualism of the band’s early pieces. The point I make is that individualism comes with two sides: taking responsibility for yourself and respecting others as sovereigns who are entitled to being treated in good faith. Virtually all of Rush’s songs reflect one or the other side of this moral equation.

I also try to show that the band’s late-career popularity is consistent with the rise of the post-boomer generations, the leading edge of which is now taking leadership positions in politics, academia, science, business, and entertainment. Even though Alex, Geddy, and Neil are baby boomers, you can make the case that their music has always resonated more with Gen Xers, who start with a more entrepreneurial and individualist mindset than the boomers ever had. At least when they were young, boomers had aspirations that were far more in tune with the collectivism of Plato than the individualism of Aristotle.

I know many fans of the band would rather people didn’t over-analyze the music; it’s there to be enjoyed and not pored over with a fine-toothed comb. I’ve shared that view for a long time, but I’m a communicator by profession, so I felt compelled to do some communicating on the band. If the book does nothing except get people talking about why the music’s so interesting to listen to, even if they think I’m barking up the wrong maple tree, I would consider that a success.—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

From Amazon . . .

Great book, read slowly to fully enjoy it
“A very in depth conversation from Rush’s start to the present. It is not a lot read. You probably won’t rifle through this in a single sitting, and the author will likely challenge a lot of your interpretations of many of the songs. But more than worth considering the impact on Rush lyrics far beyond Rand and Aristotle. Pick it up.”—Alan L. Emery

Read a review by Chris McDonald.

More on the book.

More Rush books.

 More book reviews and author Q&As. 

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~ by rvkeeper on August 13, 2014.

One Response to “New Rush Book No Longer Sold Out”

  1. Reblogged this on Progarchy: Pointing toward Proghalla and commented:
    Definitely a must own.

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