OVERRIDE

Ayn Rand Nation

The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul

Gary Weiss

St. Martin's Press

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 institutions that remain under the spell of the Russian-born novelist. He provides new insights into Rand’s inner circle in the last years of her life, with revelations of never-before-publicized predictions by Rand that still resonate today. Weiss charts Rand’s infiltration of the Tea Party and Libertarian movements, and provides an inside look at the radical belief system that has exerted a powerful influence on the Republican Party and its presidential candidates. It’s a fascinating cast of characters that ranges from Glenn Beck to Oliver Stone, and includes Rand’s most influential disciple, Alan Greenspan. Weiss describes in penetrating detail how Greenspan became a stalking horse for Rand—slashing and burning regulations with ideological zeal, and then seeking to conceal her influence on his life and thinking. Lastly, Weiss provides a strategy for a renewed national dialogue, an embrace of the nation’s core values that is needed to deal with Rand’s pervasive grip on society.

From The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged to Rand’s lesser-known and misunderstood nonfiction books, Gary Weiss examines the impact of Rand's thinking across our society.

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE
 
The Believers
 
 
They knew it, those Objectivists. One of them said to me, “I hope we have an impact on you.” He knew.
That remark was made to me at one of the monthly meetings of Ayn Rand followers in Manhattan. I was becoming a regular participant. Oddly, I was liking it and growing fond of the people who attended. Even odder was that I was enjoying her novels and becoming vaguely simpatico to her beliefs, even though they were contrary to everything I had been taught and experienced since infancy. Her novels were compelling and persuasive
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REVIEWS

Praise for Ayn Rand Nation

"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

"Unlike most books on Rand, which tend toward the hagiographic, this one takes a reality-based look at the consequences of her ideas. Weiss lands a few deserved punches in this quick, magazine article-like read."--Library Journal

"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

"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

"Unlike most books on Rand, which tend toward the hagiographic, this one takes a reality-based look at the consequences of her ideas. Weiss lands a few deserved punches in this quick, magazine article-like read."--Library Journal

"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

In the Press

AYN RAND NATION by Gary Weiss | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of AYN RAND NATION The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul. Weiss (<em>Wall Street Versus America<em>, 2006, etc.) jumps headfirst into the complex socio-cultural maelstrom that was Ayn Rand, spotlighting her allies, enemies, nemeses and acolytes.
- Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Gary Weiss

  • 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.

  • Gary Weiss

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Available Formats and Book Details

Ayn Rand Nation

The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul

Gary Weiss

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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