Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul
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
He begins with those still alive who were part of Rand's inner circle. He enlarges this to those who never met her but say they are influenced by her. Most of this new generation speak of reading Rand's novels in high school and finding their thoughts given voice. Many are unaware of Rand's passionate atheism, ...more
This guy grossly misinterprets the the very language that Ayn Rand uses.
Any Objectivist can tell you that Ayn Rand draws a distinct line between "altruism" and "benevolence." She ...more
The only thing I wish Weiss had addressed is what appears to me the fatal flaw in her logic. She completely fails to address the reality of how we affect each other-- it is simply not possible to live in this world without being influenced by what ...more
Weiss clearly has an axe to grind; his ...more
Then I grew up, saw a lot more of the world, and realized that Rand's philosophy was untenable on a broad scale (i.e., reality).
This book's primary objective (heh) is not to skewer Objectivism, but to examine the roles of Rand, her views, and her followers in modern politics. The author cautions that while it's tempting to write off Rand and her disciples ...more
if you're wondering why america is in the crap state it is currently in, this book offers a pretty solid reason why: rampant selfishness.
i find it sad that we as a country have so eagerly jumped into the ethic-less morass of Rand's Objectivism; we would rather let other people starve then lend a helping hand.
Instead of creating a country that believes in helping the weak, we are turning into a neo-feudal state, where the uber-rich get richer and keep themselves more and more ...more
Author Gary Weiss introduces the first lady of the politics of reaction as a relic whose extremism is no longer on the fringe. Her desire that income taxes would end along with almost everything the taxes paid for is a major principle of the you know who party. Survival of the fattest…
No longer a college student read, Ayn’s principles permeate politics, religion, and “ethics” in the United States. In fact, Ayn Rand has risen from the dead and now sleeps with Jesus ...more
“It seemed that everything [Rand] said about government was aimed not at the reality of America but the Russia she left in 1926,” Weiss writes. “Her acolytes, not fully comprehending the nature of her dogma, blithely accepted her vision of an American Gulag archipelago. ...more
1. I'm no Randian. Haven't read Ayn Rand, either, but am familiar with Objectivism.
2. I'm not a Tea Partier.
3. I'm not a Libertarian.
I give this book two stars instead of zero stars because Gary Weiss can be rather amusing and use a clever turn of phrase at times. It also gets two stars instead of zero because it's very interesting and thought-provoking...but not for the author's intended reasons.
In the end, this book tries to thread ...more
I view Rand as a curiosity. Like most, I read her books in my mid-teenage years, and although I'm certain that they helped shape my belief system, there's a good deal to them that I outright rejected. I wouldn't go so far as to say that I am a neutral reviewer, but I do consider myself a moderate when it comes to Rand.
As for Wiess, I found his analysis of Objectivism interesting for about the first hundred or so pages. Having never met an Objectivist, it was ...more
Why are libertarians (whom she hated) and the religious right (she was a vigorous atheist) coming together in the Tea-Party essentially under her often unnamed ...more
On a personal level, I am bewildered whenever I ...more
I find Rand loathsome because she's precisely a mirror image of Bolshevism, but Weiss hardly explores that aspect of this cult figure because to do so would ...more
Before reading this, Ayn Rand's name rang a bell, but I couldn't tell you which one. It was really interesting to start to understand the thinking behind many in the Tea Party and Objectivist movements. The author certainly is not a fan of Objectivism, but the writing is very engaging. I recommend to both literary and ...more
Finished. Ayn Rand came to this country from Stalinist Russia in 1926 and today people are tying to bring her ideas to this country including abolishing child labor laws, building codes, public education. Putting all in private hands, the free market, profit motive over all. Like any radical idea, it will ...more
I was an investigative reporter at BusinessWeek for many years, and I write weekly columns for TheStreet.com and Salon. My previous books were Wall Street Versus America (Portfolio: 2006) and Born to Steal (Warner Books: 2003).
I was a contributing editor ...more