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Since the 2008 recession began, sales of Atlas Shrugged have surged and the novel (and author Ayn Rand) have landed at the center of American politics, including presidential campaigns. Thousands of media articles have been written about Ayn Rand’s ideas. A firestorm of criticism has followed. How is one to make sense of all the competing claims about Rand's ideas? What did Ayn Rand believe? Was she a prophetic visionary who sounded a warning bell about creeping socialism and the financial disaster that would follow in its wake? Did she define what is quintessentially American—individualism, self-authorship, achievement, and freedom? Or was she the lowest of the low, a fawning and vapid worshipper of wealthy persons and unbridled power? If someone asked you to explain Rand's basic ideas, could you? This illuminating book reveals the "clockwork" behind many critics' misunderstandings and distortions of her ideas and provides simple and straightforward explanations of prominent “myths” about Ayn Rand.
Whether you decide to embrace Ayn Rand's ideas or reject them, or simply want to be able to participate in an informed way in conversations about Rand’s ideas, this slim volume will help you understand her revolutionary philosophy and identify the myths circulating about her ideas. In these essays, four authors identify some prominent myths, show why they are false, and state the plain facts that the myths conceal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David is a professional philosopher, teacher, best-selling author. After earning a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1975, he joined the philosophy department of Vassar College, where he remained until 1984. He has also taught at Brandeis University as a Visiting Lecturer. Among his books are Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence; The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand; The Evidence of the Senses, a treatise on epistemology; and The Art of Reasoning, one of the most widely used logic textbooks in the country. With Roger Donway, he co-authored Laissez Parler: Freedom in the Electronic Media, a critique of government regulation. He is also the author of A Life of One's Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State, a critique of the moral premises of the welfare state and defense of private alternatives that preserve individual autonomy, responsibility, and dignity.
His articles on social issues and public policy have appeared in Harper's, The Sciences, Reason, Harvard Business Review, The Freeman, and elsewhere. He has been an editorial writer for Barron's, has appeared on 20/20 and the ABC News special, "Greed" With John Stossel, and has written and lectured extensively on issues in philosophy, politics, and public affairs.