Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009

Ayn Rand and the World She Made

By Anne C. Heller (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)
The bad economy has been good for the legacy of Ayn Rand, the high priestess of me-first capitalism. Heller's authoritative biography of the controversial novelist-philosopher explains how Rand managed to attract a cult following (including former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan) that continues to thrive long after her death in 1982. Heller's writing, academic in its thoroughness but novelistic in its flair, reveals a life every bit as strange and enthralling as Rand's blockbuster novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. A new generation of conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, have rallied to her cause. In Rand's world, bailouts are for wimps. Heller's book will tell you why.