- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st Edition edition (February 28, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312590733
- ISBN-13: 978-0312590734
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 59 customer reviews
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#1,564,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #2521 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Economic Policy
- #2549 in Books > Business & Money > Economics > Economic Policy & Development
- #3573 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Ideologies & Doctrines > Conservatism & Liberalism
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Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul Hardcover – February 28, 2012
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"Meticulously eye-opening... A scrupulous and sobering investigation, vital for our times." --Kirkus Reviews
"[A] riveting and disturbing inquiry into Ayn Rand's widespread influence on Amerocan economics and politics." --Publishers Weekly
"A lucid, thoroughly, and utterly terrifying investigation into the movement that is destroying America, bit by bit, in accordance with the vision of a woman who believed in nothing and no one except herself."--Daily Kos
"Thought provoking and more than a little ominous."--Booklist
“Gary Weiss brings his skeptical bent and sharp writing to a character who has inspired both fanatical belief and deep derision for decades: Ayn Rand. The book is a compelling journey of discovery about a woman who continues to exert a powerful hold over our society. Weiss shows how Rand is ultimately quite a bit more complicated than either her fans or her detractors would have it.”—Bethany McLean, New York Times bestselling author of The Smartest Guys in the Room and All the Devils Are Here
“Ayn Rand Nation is a fascinating exploration of one of the fastest-growing and most powerful coalitions in American politics. With an unerring eye for detail, Gary Weiss embarks on a journey of discovery that examines the emerging influence of the Tea Party and other political groups that proclaim themselves to be Rand’s intellectual progeny. Weiss explores this phenomenon with the evenhanded and objective techniques of a sociologist. If you want to understand the men and women whose vehement voices are reshaping American government, you must read this book.”—Kurt Eichenwald, New York Times bestselling author of The Informant and Conspiracy of Fools
“The timing of this book couldn’t be better for Americans who are trying to understand where in the hell the far-out right’s anti-worker, anti-egalitarian extremism is coming from. Ayn Rand Nation introduces us to the godmother of such Tea Party craziness as destroying Social Security and eliminating Wall Street regulation. Weiss writes with perception and wit.”—Jim Hightower, New York Times bestselling author of Thieves in High Places
“Think Ayn Rand is marginal? Think again! Gary Weiss’s powerful new history inscribes the libertarian firebrand at the very center of the American story of the past three decades.”—David Frum, New York Times bestselling author of The Right Man and Comeback
About the Author
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.
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I don't see any apparent kinkage between Paul Ryan's behavior and Rand's beliefs although Weiss identifies Ryan's fascination with Rand.
I've read "Atlas Shrugged" ans "The Fountainhead" and thoroughly ehjoyed them and hoped Weiss's book would expand my feelings about Rand's writings. I really didn't. A good book but not what I'd hoped for.
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 differentiates the two by saying that altruism deals with doing a good deed while harming yourself, i.e. sacrificing a higher value for a lower value.
The author doesn't address or acknowledge Ayn Rand's value system; doesn't acknowledge that "sacrifice" means giving up a higher value for a lower value. That "sacrifice" is not giving up a lower value for a higher value.
If you have to wake up early to bring your kid to swim class--that's not sacrifice. You should obviously value your child's joy over your sleep so giving up sleep for your child's joy is not a sacrifice.
On page 202 he completely butchers Ayn Rand's take on sacrifice and gets it completely wrong.
The author continually opines that Rand is disconnected from reality and doesn't have a grip on how the real world works. Yet, he admits to all the things she has said has so far come true.
Criticizing how she ran her life and each little bit of hypocrisy that may have been in her closet is the same thing as criticizing a diet plan if the person on the diet goes off the rails one day.
The epilogue of the book completely misses the mark and horrendously misjudges the views of Objectivist principles. It's so frustrating to read something that so blatantly misses the mark...not just from misunderstanding but from sheer laziness of not even attempting to grasp the concepts.
No longer a college student read, Ayn’s principles permeate politics, religion, and “ethics” in the United States.
Instead, the new utopia will be void of all social programs… including and not limited to your Social Security, Medicare , schools, water delivery, and road maintenance.
(This is so, even as the subject of this biography applied for Social Security and Medicare, rather than dying impoverished in the streets. Pp. 61-62.)
Interestingly enough, even as Rand and her institute espouse atheism, major religions have glommed on the principles of objectivity, as has a large percentage of the poor who would be penalized the most by that loss of social programs. Fascinating indeed…
Weiss spends many words describing the give and take within the Ayn Rand Institute. But, the most startling aspect is that we are not merely discussing a few titles published but an active organized group attempting to change the world to their own image. The ARI is hardly, of course, the only political/religious organization at their tenacious work, but their attention to detail and willingness to succeed is certainly enough to keep me awake at night.
Rand, according to Weiss, was the first teabagger. The acolytes of the Tea Party and collectivism are, sometimes, fascinating specimens of human behavior espousing ideologies, which if put into place, would crush them like a bug. Oh, well…
Weiss embellishes just one more group to worry about. Not a fun read…