On Wednesday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I interviewed entrepreneur and activist Jason Crawford about “Free Objectivist Books for Students.” The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Podcast: 29 May 2013

The Free Objectivist Books for Students web site aims to help more students read Ayn Rand. It does that by enabling donors to send books by Ayn Rand or about her philosophy of Objectivism to students eager to read them. Jason Crawford explained how the project works – including the unusual way it connects donors and recipients – and why he thinks students should read Ayn Rand.

Jason Crawford is a software developer and entrepreneur in San Francisco. He was co-founder and CTO of startup Kima Labs, and has worked at Amazon and Groupon. He was introduced to Objectivism in 1992 and has been a part of the Objectivist movement ever since.

Listen or Download:


  • How “Free Objectivist Books for Students” works
  • Why students should read Ayn Rand
  • The statistics: how many books sent
  • Why students want to read Ayn Rand
  • Why can’t the students buy or borrow the books
  • The six primary books
  • The most common book
  • Sending to students outside the United States
  • The response of the students
  • The benefit for donors and volunteers
  • How donors select students
  • This peer-to-peer model versus traditional models
  • Ayn Rand on charity
  • The program as self-interested for students and donors
  • Asking students to donate later or lend books
  • Jason’s introduction to Objectivism
  • Lessening the effect of luck in finding Ayn Rand’s ideas
  • The current bottleneck
  • Expanding the project in future
  • This project as a model for other activist endeavors
  • Advice to people interested in promoting Objectivism in the culture


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