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Monday, May 27, 2013

• • Required Reading List: Jay Gatsby 
Atlas Shrugged  |Image  | [W]hat books might have set Gatsby on a better path (or at least entertained him during the long lonely evenings)? [....] Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand. “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” Well, Rand isn’t for everyone. But Gatsby would have probably taken some comfort in Objectivism — not that it would have helped him any.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

• • • Obama: Ayn Rand Is for Misunderstood Teens 
The Fountainhead  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Image  | By now you probably know how we feel about Ayn Rand. Sure, her boldly individualist philosophy might have been the kind of thing that appealed to us the first time we read The Fountainhead in ninth grade, but fortunately, we’ve moved on since then — and we’re not interested in dating you if you haven’t. As it turns out, President Obama feels pretty much the same way.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

• • • 10 Contemporary Politicians’ Favorite Books 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  |Image  | After it was revealed that Paul Ryan was a longtime Ayn Rand fanboy, reporters, critics, and the general public had a literary field day. Out came in-depth analyses of how Ryan’s fiscal policies were akin to Randian philosophies, and what character he would play in Atlas Shrugged. It all got us thinking about other political candidates and their literary preferences. Usually politicians are the ones who are being written about in books, not talking about them. So is Obama still as big of a fan of poetry as he was in his college days? Which classic novel for young ladies has a beloved spot on Hillary’s bookshelf? After the jump, we take a stroll through some contemporary politicos’ favorite reads.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

• • These Are the Books That Make You Totally Undateable 
The Fountainhead  |Image  | Though it’s good to know what to do to seem appealing to the opposite sex, it’s also good to know what not to do — that is, to know which books might send a potential mate running for the hills should they be spotted on your nightstand or peeking out from your back pocket. In the interest of seeing the full picture, we asked both men and women of various sexual orientations to share the books that they think render their devotees totally undateable. [....] “I want to say ‘anything Ayn Rand’ (Ed. note — we heard this a lot, and at least one person referred us to this), but then I would be undateable myself — because in high school I read my mom’s copy of The Fountainhead and legitimately enjoyed it. For some reason it’s still on my shelf, although now I agree with Nora Ephron’s opinion of the book: ”it is better read when one is young enough to miss the point. Otherwise, one cannot help thinking it is a very silly book.”

Thursday, May 31, 2012

• • 10 Books That Should Be Challenged Instead of ’50 Shades of Grey’ 
Atlas Shrugged  |Image  | Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. The charges: tedium, long-windedness, philosophical unpleasantness. Save yourself 1,000 pages, kids: basically, it’s all the poor people’s fault! Life lessons learned right there!

Friday, April 13, 2012

• • 10 Fascinating Interviews with Legendary Journalist Mike Wallace 
Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  |Inaccurate  | (Note: It was actually in a 1957 New York Post interview with Wallace that the “most creative thinker” statement was made, according to biographer Jennifer Burns.)
Mike Wallace got under Ayn Rand’s skin when he called her Objectivism movement “Rand-ism” and declared her challenging philosophy — which was still largely unknown in America at that time (1959) — selfish. He goes on to tell the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged author that she talks about love “as if it was a business deal of some kind.” She tells him, “Every business deal has to have its own terms and its own kind of currency … you love only those who deserve it.” This is also the famous interview where Rand called herself “the most creative thinker alive.”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

• • Readers’ Choice: 10 More of the Most Powerful Women in Literature 
Atlas Shrugged  |Image  | We also heard some votes for the protagonist of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Commenter Jessica described Dagny Taggart as “the invisible hand of finance and strength in Taggart Transcontinental, martyred by her brother and his board of misogynists for her risks that only lead to the survival of their company. She struggles with her passion with the three most powerful men in the world and what they symbolize to her: hope, defiance, and self-authority.”

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

• • • Atlas Shrugged’ DVDs Recalled Because of Ideology Error 
Atlas Shrugged movie  |Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  |Image  | Well, we find this sort of hilarious. The first part of the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s controversial 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged recently came out on DVD, to not much aplomb. However, the DVDs are now being recalled, and Atlas Productions LLC announced yesterday that they would replace more than 100,000 title sheets from DVD and Blu-ray discs. Apparently, part of the marketing copy on the package reads “AYN RAND’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice comes to life…” That doesn’t seem so offensive, unless you have, oh we don’t know, even a rote understanding of what the novel is about.

Friday, September 02, 2011

• • 10 Novels That We Dare You to Finish 
Atlas Shrugged  | Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Page count: 1,200. Time it took to write the damn thing: 14 years (1943-1957). Story: In a letter to Rand after publication, the economist Ludwig von Mises gushed, “You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the efforts of men who are better than you.”

Saturday, July 02, 2011

• • 10 Manly Books To Honor Ernest Hemingway Death 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Image  | Who is more manly than our favorite libertarian, Ayn Rand? We would argue that no one is. This novel about stone cold capitalists who disengage from modern society and create a utopian land where people aren’t freeloaders, socialists, or homosexuals: they are men, or they are the women who love their capitalist god: John Galt.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

 Molly Crabapple on Love and the Literary Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School 
[Q:] What Dr. Sketchy themes are you imagining for the future? [A:] [....] I can’t believe we haven’t done A Clockwork Orange yet and Ayn Rand would be fun. Maybe Scientology? A friend of mine does a great Sarah Palin drag act, so we’re definitely planning a Dr Sketchy Is a Real American Tea Party theme.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

• • Books that rocked your world at 16 but fall flat now 
The Fountainhead  |Individualism  |Image  | What you loved: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Why you shouldn’t now: When you were a kid, and therefore infallible, Rand’s Objectivist novel about architecture and individualism blew your doors off. But Rand’s a lot like Michael Moore — so ham-fisted she undermines her own work and is ever preaching to choir.

Friday, March 12, 2010

• • Mike Daisey reveals secrets of the world order 
The Fountainhead  | [Q:] Who are some of the guests we can expect on [your] show? [A:] [....] I believe we’re going to have someone who’s starring in a film adaptation — this is fascinating — a musical film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. They’re going to be singing some really fantastic songs about libertarianism and female submission. The actress is just charming. A little freaky but charming. I think that’s going to be tremendous. It’s really a wide range of things that I feel capture where we are as a country and a people.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

• • • Trend watch: Ayn Rand 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged movie  |Anthem  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Egoism  | Objectivism is having a moment, and not just in conservative talk radio circles and on Glenn Beck’s daily hour of crazy time. Ayn Rand’s philosophy of fierce individualism and rational self-interest has become a hit with the fashion crowd, not exactly a group known for its right-leaning “moral” values. Though we haven’t yet seen any über-political fashion heavyweights (Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan) pick up the Fountainhead mantle and its trappings of laissez-faire capitalism, The Daily Beast reports on several fashion designers who claim influence from La Rand herself.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

 Atlas Shrugged: Louvre archive launches in English 
Atlas Shrugged  | (Reference in headline only.)