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New Castle, Pennsylvania
Robert James Bidinotto (born 1949) is a novelist, journalist, editor, and lecturer. In 2011, he turned his focus to fiction with his bestselling vigilante crime thriller, HUNTER. In December 2011, it became the #1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in both the "Mysteries and Thrillers" and "Romantic Suspense" categories. The novel is first in a series of "Dylan Hunter" vigilante thrillers, which the author discusses on his blog, "The Vigilante Author".
Prior to writing fiction, Bidinotto wrote for many different publications and blogs, spoke widely before community and campus organizations, and appeared on many radio and television talk shows. He is perhaps best known for his critiques of leniency within the criminal justice system, and for criticisms of the environmentalist movement and philosophy. Bidinotto is influenced by the philosophy and writings of Ayn Rand, and from July 2005 until October 2008 he was editor-in-chief of The New Individualist, the monthly magazine published by The Atlas Society.
In the mid-1980s, Bidinotto was a contributing editor for the Objectivist political newsletter On Principle; then, in 1987, for its brief-lived successor, Oasis magazine. Also during the mid-1980s, he self-published several papers and lectures on libertarianism, styles of thinking, and problems of practicing the philosophy of individualism within the context of ideological organizations.
During the late 1980s and until 1995, Bidinotto was a staff writer for Reader's Digest, for which he authored high-profile pieces dealing with failings in the United States criminal justice system. The most well-known of these was "Getting Away with Murder" (July 1988), which, during the 1988 presidential campaign, helped make murderer William R. ("Willie") Horton and prison furloughs among the decisive issues in the defeat of candidate Michael Dukakis. He also wrote in the magazine about environmental issues, such as the Alar scare and global warming. Bidinotto later edited a book, Criminal Justice? The Legal System Vs. Individual Responsibility, and wrote Freed to Kill, a compendium of true-crime horror stories about the justice system.
Subsequently, he worked for several years for The Objectivist Center in a number of writing, speaking, and fundraising capacities, and later for The Capital Research Center in Washington, D.C., where he edited two monthly periodicals: Organization Trends and Foundation Watch. He left CRC in July 2005 to return to The Objectivist Center, now called The Atlas Society, where he served as editor-in-chief of their monthly magazine of politics and culture, The New Individualist, until October 2008. In 2018, he reported at one of his blogs that one reason he ultimately left The Atlas Society for good was that it had lapsed, despite its original intentions, into a "dogmatic orthodoxy." When he first became involved, The Atlas Society had been "set up to function not as a dogmatic orthodoxy, but as an open forum for discussion of ideas related to Rand's philosophy. That was true at its conferences and within its publications. My departure from that group was due, in part, to its eventual, growing ambivalence about that 'forum' structure—for example, heated battles with me over the philosophic content of its magazine, which I edited."
Bidinotto publishes a blog that addresses political and cultural issues, as well another blog, "The Vigilante Author," which focuses on his own novels, thriller-writing generally, and independent publishing. His "ecoNOT" web site offers criticism of environmentalist philosophy and policies.
Bidinotto's work as a writer and editor has won a number of awards. In September 2007, The New Individualist was honored with Folio magazine's prestigious Gold "Eddie" Award for Bidinotto's article "Up from Conservatism," which appeared in the magazine's March 2007 issue. The American Society of Magazine Editors recognized Bidinotto's prison-furlough article in the July 1988 Reader's Digest as one of five national finalists for "Best Magazine Article of the Year in the Public Interest Category." He also was honored with the Free Press Association's Mencken Award for "Best Feature Story," and with the annual journalism award from the National Victim Center, "for sensitivity and fairness in reporting victim issues."
He has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television programs, including CBS radio's Crosstalk, CNN's Sonya Live, Geraldo, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Bob Grant Show, CNBC's Rivera Live, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Bidinotto currently resides with his wife on the Chesapeake Bay where he is working on sequels in his "Dylan Hunter" vigilante thriller series.
- HUNTER: A Thriller. Avenger Books. 2011. ISBN 0615507719.
- "Terrorism and Unilateral Moral Disarmament" in Greaves, Bettina Bien, ed. (1985). Terrorism and the Media. Irvington, New York: The Foundation for Economic Education.
- "Prison Furloughs Allow Criminals to Commit More Crimes" in Dudley, William, ed. (1989). Crime and Criminals: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, California: Greenhaven Press. ISBN 0-89908-416-8.
- "What Is Freedom For?" in Robbins, John W. & Spangler, Mark, eds. (1992). A Man of Principle: Essays in Honor of Hans F. Sennholz. Grove City, Pennsylvania: Grove City College Press. ISBN 0-9631818-0-7.
- "What Is the Truth about Global Warming?" in Miller, Robert K., ed. (1992). The Informed Argument: A Multidisciplinary Reader and Guide (3rd ed.). Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. ISBN 0-15-541456-9.
- "Global Warming" in Lavdis, D. C.; Santoro, J. & Wasowski, J., eds. (1993). Contemporary Issues. Rocky River, Ohio: The Center for Learning.
- "Environmentalism: Freedom's Foe for the '90's" in Sennholz, Hans F., ed. (1993). Man and Nature. Irvington, New York: Foundation for Economic Education. ISBN 0-910614-88-1.
- Editor. Criminal Justice? The Legal System Versus Individual Responsibility (2nd ed.). Irvington, New York: The Foundation for Economic Education. 1995. ISBN 1-57246-016-4.
- Freed to Kill: How America's "Revolving Door" of Justice Fails to Protect the Innocent. Washington, DC: Safe Streets Coalition. 1996. ISBN 0-9644719-0-6.
- "After 2008, Does Individualism Have a Future?". Junto (club). Retrieved 2012-08-18.
- "Criminal Justice? The Legal System vs. Individual Responsibility (Book Review)". Foundation for Economic Education. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
- "Up from Conservatism".
- "PJ Lifestyle: Author Page (Bidinotto)". PJ Media. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
- "Freed to Kill : how America's "revolving door" of justice fails to protect the innocent". Worldcat. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
- The Vigilante Author blog
- Bidinotto's blog
- Hunter: An Interview with Robert Bidinotto
- ecoNOT – Bidinotto's website dedicated to criticism of the environmental industry
- Riggenbach, Jeff (August 19, 2011). "Robert Bidinotto and the Objectivist Subculture". Mises Daily. Ludwig von Mises Institute.
- Works by or about Robert Bidinotto in libraries (WorldCat catalog)