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Rand-y reading

So a Christmas reading wrap-up as I enter one of those big birthday years. Inspired by the Churchill (mis?)quote “Any 20-year-old who isn’t a liberal doesn’t have a heart, and any 40-year-old who isn’t a conservative doesn’t have a brain”, I read a couple of Any Rand’s books–Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged–to see what the appeal is. Those books are near the top of numerous lists of the most influential books of the 20th century, and Rand used her novels as a vehicle for her objectivism philosophy.

So is Rand worth reading? Her extended descriptions and dialogs, often stretching for pages on end, paint an anti-socialism picture that appeals to today’s minority, but it almost struck me as humorous at many places. A bunch of capitalists living on a commune? The heroic and uncompromising architect? There’s a lot to swallow there; an odd good-evil division that just doesn’t seem to work today, unless you’re convinced that you’re right about something and are looking to justify it to yourself.

Categories: Book reviews
  1. January 10, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Wow, I had no idea that objectivism didn’t have a name until 1943. That’s late by my intuitive estimate… and I was always the winner of the ‘how many jelly beans are in the jar’ contest in elementary school. I think I’ll ignore your review (what else is an advisee to do but rebel?) and pick up a copy of The Fountainhead.

  2. August 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Ayn Rand gets thrust back into the spotlight by Paul Ryan…though he claims it was a youthful interest and he’s moved on to other philosophies. I suspect it will be a non-issue come election day.

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