Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Because nothing should be taken too seriously

My sister, handing me Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead to read, simply said it was "a wicked good read." She was right.

I went on to write a thesis (or what amounted to one at my school) on Rand. But not on Objectivism, or Capitalism, or Selfishness (caps hers). I was more interested in making a case for using fiction (especially "wicked good reads") to teach science — at least, political science. Seriously, wouldn't you like a little Ayn Rand thrown in with your Hobbes? Or Adam Smith, as the case may be?

Atlas Shrugged by Rand is ranked as the second most influential book in print (after the Bible and before Wisdom from The Road Less Traveled) according to a 1991 study by Library of Congress and Book of the Month club. Strong viewpoints make for big targets, however, and Rand is no exception. See illustration on left.

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