This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force… Dorothy Parker on Atlas Shrugged


The intellectual tradition of modern conservatism finds a continuous source of elucidation from Edmund Burke to Russell Kirk and has its underpinning in the natural law tradition that goes back beyond Cicero. While there are certainly free market advocates within this conservatism most see free markets only as economic systems that enable the actions of free people to incline to civic virtue and recognize that only in freedom is any measure of virtue possible.

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Ayn Rand is credited with being an objectivist which, to use her own words, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute, which is a position that no natural rights conservative would hold. Further it is a position that no free market conservative would hold because – realizing that the freedom of the market is not absolute – they realize that it would lead to chaos and destruction of the market.

Simply put Ayn Rand was not so much an objectivist as she was a philosophical sociopath who sophomoric intellectual leaning attract the similarly weak of mind and spirit who can not tolerate the strictures required to live in society. The left never tires of calling her a right-winger and attempting to tar conservatism with her ravings in much the same way they declare Hitler – the leader of National Socialism, an ultimate expression of leftist thought – as a right-winger when in reality no matter how much both of them were opposed to Russian communism their philosophical roots – materialism – are in the same tradition.

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Bookstores often offer celebrity biographies of one hit wonders or aging chatelaines that are a waste of paper and ink. Why the opinions of people who’s only claim to fame is that they are regularly featured in the tabloid press should carry more weight than someone who has actually studied a subject is one of the mysteries of the age. Rand’s books have no more literary merit than Jacqueline Sussan’s and her biography is about as uninteresting as well.

Goddess of the market : Ayn Rand and the American Right Jennifer Burns Oxford, England ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009 Hardcover. 1st ed., later printing. 369 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 345-360) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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 reassessment of this key cultural figure, examining her life, her ideas, and her impact on political thought.

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Goddess of the Market follows 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. 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 1968.

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