The Age of Selfishness: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis

Darryl Cunningham. Abrams Comicarts, $17.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1598-3
This work is both a highly effective example of graphic nonfiction and a strong critique of the connection between Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism and the 2008 financial collapse. Cunningham (Psychiatric Tales, How to Fake a Moon Landing) tackles this essential but byzantine subject with admirable clarity. The book examines how the attitudes and approaches of people—including former Federal Reserve Chairman and Rand disciple Alan Greenspan—helped establish the conditions for a worldwide financial meltdown. Financial institutions, sub-prime mortgages, and overwhelming greed did the rest. Although Cunningham is dealing with complicated economic matters, he is able to use straightforward panel arrangements and a simplified color palette to make the financial crisis accessible to the average reader; a detailed bibliography at the end shows the level of research. This book is a superb example of how powerful graphic nonfiction can be in taking complex events and making them frighteningly clear. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/23/2015
Release date: 03/17/2015
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