Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul

Gary Weiss. St. Martin’s, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-59073-4
In this riveting and disturbing inquiry into Ayn Rand’s widespread influence on American economics and politics, Weiss (Wall Street Versus America) tackles the history and the present of objectivism, emphasizing its paradoxical return to prominence in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Enshrined in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, Rand’s philosophy spawned a cult following that included Alan Greenspan, and whose current purveyors include Glenn Beck, Paul Ryan, and members of the Tea Party. As Weiss details, objectivism is a theory of radical individualism: “To Rand, the infant’s me-centered view of the world is correct, selfishness is right, and altruism is the antithesis of everything decent and moral.” Along with atheism (ignored by many), this view demands that business be completely unregulated, social welfare programs and taxes abolished, and the government, with its support of education, medicine, and infrastructure, rendered nonexistent. Weiss describes how objectivism, aided by wealthy and influential figures, has influenced the deregulation of financial markets, the radicalization of conservative voices, and today’s toxic political climate. Despite a good faith effort to understand Rand and her followers, the result reads like a memoir, with Weiss’s ample personal commentary, and pays little attention to objectivism’s deep philosophical roots. Nonetheless, Weiss poses an important question: will we be a country that values human life and dignity, or one that values only the dollar? Agent: Richard Morris, Janklow and Nesbit. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2012
Release date: 02/28/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-5078-7
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-1-250-02231-8
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.