David Pabian, March 27, 2012 (view all comments by David Pabian)
I've yet to read this book, but I'll definitely be getting it, since it's not the Rand lemmings propaganda. I hope Weiss makes the obvious point that Rand was an example, still seen today in many U.S. immigrants from repressive regimes, of bitter resentment toward what she left behind and a complete intellectual incomprehension of the system in her adopted country. Tacking a foreign mindset on her new situation and not understanding the many subtle differences of the two systems, she could only rail against Soviet corruption through a very SUBjective prism. Her silly ideas are absurd because they're stuck in the 19th century European concept of capitalism and are totally outmoded, if not insane, in the 21st century. Her philosophy and novels appeal strongly to teenaged girls, as her works are centered, as she was, on the fantasy of not being a complete woman until getting raped by a big strong American He-man (I'm not making this up - read "Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged"). The tragedy is when anyone who isn't a teenaged girl still thinks her bubble-headed, drug and alcohol-addled fury actually amounts to a philosophy. Most of us now know that Alan Greenspan is pretty much of an idiot - but some of us knew it years ago when we first saw the photograph of him literally sitting at Rand's knees. His economic stupidity brought the U.S. to its knees, and it'll be some time before we stand again. One has to be pretty weak-minded to find just about anything Rand ever said or did a positive influence, or even adult thought. She was basically just a pathetic, envious bitter old junkie. We'll see if Weiss is up to the task of revealing the real rand.
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majors.bruce, March 27, 2012 (view all comments by majors.bruce)
Another half wit out of his depth, someone who probably couldn't understand either Hayek's capital and business cycle theory or Aristotle's eudamonisic ethics, or any of the other sources Rand depends on, if it were spoon fed to him with coloring books and Cliff Notes.
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Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul
0 stars -
St. Martin's Press -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Thirty years after her death, Ayn Rands ideas have never been more important. Unfettered capitalism, unregulated business, bare-bones government providing no social services, glorification of selfishness, disdain for Judeo-Christian morality—these are the tenets of Rands harsh philosophy.
Now with a new afterword on Rand, Paul Ryan, and the 2012 presidential election, Ayn Rand Nation explores the people and institutions that remain under the spell of the Russian-born novelist. Gary Weiss provides new insights into Rands inner circle in the last years of her life, with revelations of never-before-publicized predictions by Rand that still resonate today. Lastly, Weiss provides a strategy for a renewed national dialogue, an embrace of the nations core values that is needed to deal with Rands pervasive grip on society.
From The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged to Rands lesser-known and misunderstood nonfiction books, Gary Weiss examines the impact of Rand's thinking across our society.
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