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Register of the Joan Kennedy Taylor papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Related Collection(s)

  • Title: Joan Kennedy Taylor papers
    Date (inclusive): 1955-2004
    Identifier/Call Number: 2007C7
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 27 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize boxes (11.6 linear feet)
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Taylor, Joan Kennedy


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Joan Kennedy Taylor papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2007.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    Joan Kennedy Taylor was born in Manhattan on December 21, 1926, to Joseph Deems Taylor and Mary Kennedy. Her father was a well-known composer and radio personality and her mother was an actress and a poet. After her parents divorced, Kennedy Taylor attended a number of schools in various parts of the world. She received her higher education at Barnard College, where she met her husband, Donald Cook, who was a psychology student at neighboring Columbia University. The couple was engaged in 1947 and married a year after. In January of 1950 their only son, Michael Cook, was born. The marriage did not last and in 1953, Cook and Kennedy Taylor were divorced.
    Shortly after the marriage ended she started working at Alfred A. Knopf in the publicity department and became involved with the literary world. It was there that Kennedy Taylor was first introduced to Ayn Rand through the advance copy of, Atlas Shrugged. Her fascination with the novel led her to write a fan letter to Rand sparking a life-long friendship.
    In 1958 Kennedy Taylor enrolled as one of the first students of the Nathaniel Branden Institute, where she took a course on ‘Basic Principles of Objectivism.’ It is there that her friendship with David Dawson, a writer, turned into a romance. The two married later that year and remained married for over twenty years until Dawson’s death in 1979. By the 1960s Joan Kennedy Taylor became more interested in politics and it was around this time that she helped found the Young Republicans Club in New York and served as the editor of the group’s newsletter. She was also responsible for transforming the newsletter into a libertarian magazine, Persuasion. Additionally, she worked alongside Roy A. Child, Jr., as an associate editor of The Libertarian Review. In the 1980s, Kennedy Taylor continued her writing career as the publication director at the Manhattan Institute where she was responsible for bringing to light the work of Charles Murray, a notable political scientist. While working at the institute she served as an editor of the Freeman magazine.
    Kennedy Taylor’s list of accomplishments is extensive, especially when it comes to her involvement in libertarian feminism and writing for notable publications such as: The Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Reason, Inquiry, Success, American Enterprise, Stanford Law & Policy Review, and the Journal of Information Ethics. She wrote numerous monographs and articles, and was a commentator for a nationally syndicated radio show, Byline. In 1992 Kennedy Taylor wrote her first book entitled, Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Rediscovered, and followed it with her 1999 publication, What to Do When you Don’t Want to Call the Cops: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Sexual Harassment. Kennedy Taylor died on October 29th, 2005.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection documents the professional career of Joan Kennedy Taylor and includes her writings, and activities within the field of libertarian feminism. The collection contains numerous issues of newsletters, bulletins and magazines. It also includes various articles, monographs, and literary reviews done by Kennedy Taylor as well as the writings of other individuals on topics such as Ayn Rand, libertariansim, objectivism, pornography, and psychology. Additionally housed within the collection are audio tapes, transcripts of radio broadcasts, conference materials, research materials, and materials relating to courses taught by Joan Kennedy Taylor.

    Related Collection(s)

    Roy A. Childs, Hoover Institution Archives

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Feminism--United States.
    Libertarianism--United States.