Category Archives: Jennifer Burns

June 10, 2010, 12:50 pm

Today’s Assigned Reading: Ayn Rand, Tony Judt and Dean Dad

I spent the first part of the morning absorbed in Jennifer Burns’ Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (Oxford: 2009). I always thought there were two kinds of people: those who were simply mad about Rand, and others (like me) who couldn’t make it through the first fifty pages of her histrionic prose and cheesy philosophizing.
Wrong, wrong, wrong (as one usually is when, as on Facebook, there appear to be only two choices: “Like” and “Dislike.”) There are also those who are neither Rand worshippers or Rand avoiders, but who are just smart, like Jennifer Burns. For all the books that have been published lately about the rise of conservatism in the post-World War II United States, I would have to say Goddess of the Market is the most unusual, in that it teases apart the different philosophical strands of conservatism and libertarianism, while also connecting them…

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