Summary

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 groundbreaking reassessment of this key cultural figure, examining her life, her ideas, and her impact on conservative political thought. 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.
©2009 Oxford University Press, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Barry Gormley on 18-01-18

A must read for all interested in Objectivism.

Burns’ probing and well written biography provides the reader with a balanced, insightful and at times disturbing vision into the life of one of most influential thinkers of the 20th century. Descriptions of Ayn Rand’s life and works tend to fall into one of two categories: the ones that come from her critics usually amount to ridiculous straw-man attacks, while her admirers have a tendency to downplay or even ignore her flaws, even when they are not die hard Objectivists. Because of this, Ayn Rand is rarely given the benefit of the objective (no pun intended), worts and all treatment that most important figures can expect from historians. Jennifer Burns has accomplished this task brilliantly, and for that reason I say no one can be truly educated in Objectivism until they have this fantastic book.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rodger P. Paxton on 14-11-17

Wow!

I learned more about Ayn Rand than I ever thought I needed to know. Well written book. Expertly narrated.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Andrej Drapal on 14-03-18

Unfortunate

Example of a biography where the writer has already a bias. In this case negativity is clearly seen.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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