"Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century"
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March 30, 2011, 02:13 PM
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From my review of a new biography of Robert A. Heinlein in Taki`s Magazine:
The rise of the nerds to mainstream dominance is one of popular culture`s most important developments over the last generation. Consider the gulf in sensibility between old Hollywood blockbusters such as Gone with the Wind and characteristic 21st-century tent poles such as Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and The Dark Knight.
A central figure in the evolution of obsessive geeks into a self-aware, self-confident community was science-fiction author Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988). For many of the mid-20th century`s lonely youths, discovering Heinlein stories in pulp sci-fi magazines or at the public library was a you-are-not-alone moment.

Yet a massive new Heinlein biography by William H. Patterson, Jr. illustrates a paradox: Heinlein himself wasn`t a nerd. Weighing in at 624 fact-crammed pages, Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume I, 1907-1948: Learning Curve (whew...) is redolent of the Aspergery culture that Heinlein helped call forth. ...

Ironically, the urbane Heinlein preached the virtues of being an all-arounder.

Read the whole thing there.