Ayn Rand Nation by Gary Weiss
The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul

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Synopsis

Thirty years after her death in March 1982, Ayn Rand’s 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 Rand’s harsh philosophy.

In Ayn Rand Nation, Gary Weiss explores the people and institutions that remain under the spell of the Russian-born novelist. He provides new insights into Rand’s inner circle in the last years of her life, with revelations of never-before-publicized predictions by Rand that still resonate today. Weiss charts Rand’s infiltration of the Tea Party and Libertarian movements, and provides an inside look at the radical belief system that has exerted a powerful influence on the Republican Party and its presidential candidates. It’s a fascinating cast of characters that ranges from Glenn Beck to Oliver Stone, and includes Rand’s most influential disciple, Alan Greenspan. Weiss describes in penetrating detail how Greenspan became a stalking horse for Rand—slashing and burning regulations with ideological zeal, and then seeking to conceal her influence on his life and thinking. Lastly, Weiss provides a strategy for a renewed national dialogue, an embrace of the nation’s core values that is needed to deal with Rand’s pervasive grip on society.

From The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged to Rand’s lesser-known and misunderstood nonfiction books, Gary Weiss examines the impact of Rand's thinking across our society.

 

About Gary Weiss

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Gary Weiss is a journalist and the author of two books probing the underside of finance, Wall Street Versus America and Born to Steal. He was an award-winning investigative reporter for BusinessWeek, and his articles have appeared in Condé Nast Portfolio, Parade magazine, Salon, and The New York Times, among other publications. He lives in New York City.
 
Published February 28, 2012 by St. Martin's Press. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ayn Rand Nation

Kirkus Reviews

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Intrigued by a 1974 photo depicting Rand with Alan Greenspan and President Ford in the White House, Weiss embarks on a quest to excavate the oft-shifting strata of Rand's political doctrine, Objectivism, which she deemed “a philosophy for living on earth," starting with her infamous writings.

Jan 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden S...

Publishers Weekly

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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...

Jan 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden S...

Macleans

He does emerge with his core principles intact: a Randian U.S.“would resemble the lands from which our ancestors emigrated.” But he recognizes the root of her appeal: preaching rugged individualism taps into deeply held American values and so too does the way Rand’s adherents make moral arguments...

Mar 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden S...

Daily Kos

(Which it certainly is not.) Now my review pops up as the most helpful negative review in the side-by-side, and comes first overall in the reviews.

Jun 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden S...

Daily Kos

Through interviews with old school Objectivists, disgraced followers like Rand's former lover Nathaniel Branden, current Randian powers like Yaron Brook, and Tea Party activists like Mark Meckler and anti-Islamist Pamela Geller, Weiss unearths how thoroughly Rand's ideas have come to permeate the...

Mar 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden S...

Columbia Journalism Review

In Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul, Gary Weiss chronicles the growing influence of Rand on America, who Ayn Rand’s followers are, and what they’re doing to the United States.

Mar 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden S...

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