Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right

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Read preview. Synopsis Worshipped by her fans, denounced by her enemies, and forever shadowed by controversy and scandal, the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand was a powerful thinker whose views on government and markets shaped the conservative movement from its earliest days.

Drawing on unprecedented access to Rand's private papers and the original, unedited versions of Rand's journals, Jennifer Burns offers a groundbreaking reassessment of this key cultural figure, examining her life, her ideas, and her impact on conservative political thought.

Goddess of the Marketfollows Rand from her childhood in Russia through her meteoric rise from struggling Hollywood screenwriter to bestselling novelist, including the writing of her wildly successful The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Burns highlights the two facets of Rand's work that make her a perennial draw for those on the right: her promotion of capitalism, and her defense of limited government.

Both sprang from her early, bitter experience of life under Communism, and became among the most deeply enduring of her messages, attracting a diverse audience of college students and intellectuals, business people and Republican Party activists, libertarians and conservatives.

Jennifer Burns on Ayn Rand and the American Right

The book also traces the development of Rand's Objectivist philosophy and her relationship with Nathaniel Branden, her closest intellectual partner, with whom she had an explosive falling out in The match between author and subject is so perfect that one might believe that the author was chosen by the gods to write this book. She has sympathy and affection for her subject but treats her as a human being, with no attempt to cover up the foibles.

Read preview Overview. Younkins Routledge, It seamlessly links Rand's operatic personal life with her political ideals and influence of those ideas, conversations, tirades, friendships, fights, and intimacies with finely-drawn and memorable characters. This is biography, intellectual history, and political genealogy that gets the story right, told with drama, skill, and insight. Goddess of the Market is both insightful scholarship and a compelling piece of writing. Jennifer Burns has created a model for intellectual biographers to follow.

She places Rand in the intellectual and political history of her times, moving adroitly between Rand's fiction, non-fiction, and the people with whom she interacted. Drawing carefully from primary and secondary sources, Jennifer Burns has made a significant contribution to Ayn Rand scholarship. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Textbooks. Read an excerpt of this book!

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Overview Worshipped by her fans, denounced by her enemies, and forever shadowed by controversy and scandal, the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand was a powerful thinker whose views on government and markets shaped the conservative movement from its earliest days. She has never been a critical favorite. She is now assigned in high schools and in some colleges, but she has never been loved by the literary establishment.

People kind of discover her on their own. And one group that has always discovered her and become fascinated and even obsessed with her ideas are conservatives, particularly young conservatives. Her discussion of the morality of capitalism comes, for many people, as this eye-opening, earth-shattering revelation that this is the way things should be.

ISBN 13: 9780195324877

What you saw happen in with the Tea Party was a new audience seizing upon her. That is a tricky question because Rand was not a concise writer.

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Her major novels are all to 1, pages. The shortest book of hers is called Anthem. It will give you little flavor of her but not too much. Another one I would recommend is called The Virtue of Selfishness. This is a collection of essays along with excerpts from her fiction.

162: Jennifer Burns on Ayn Rand: Goddess of the Market and Objectivism

Why is the media so fascinated with Rep. As you said, conservatives have been reading her books for generations. Rand has always been a kind of subterranean current in the conservative movement and in conservative thought. Ryan is one of the first national-level politicians to really be on the record as pledging an allegiance to Rand. Modern-day Republicans emphasize her view on limited government and the morality of capitalism, but she was also an atheist. She was pro-abortion rights.

She was antiwar. She was [for the] legalization of drugs.

Uncompassionate Conservatism? | STANFORD magazine

She staked out a lot of positions that a wise and careful politician would want to stay away from. And her fiction has some very racy, very controversial sexual passages and some pretty harsh writing. The fact that Ryan gave Atlas Shrugged as a Christmas gift [to staffers] is a tremendous irony because Rand was a fire-breathing atheist. She did not believe in God. She called religion a psychological disorder. She truly believed you needed to use reason and logic and no faith whatsoever.


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