Ayn Rand: Writing a Gospel of Success

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Ayn Rand: Writing a Gospel of Success
A deeply researched biography of the prominent and divisive writer Ayn Rand, whose pro-capitalist novels and nonfiction have influenced three generations of Americans

Biographer Alexandra Popoff traces the life and creative achievement of Ayn Rand (1905-1982), one of America's most provocative writers and whose best-selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged have enjoyed impressive longevity. Born into a Jewish family in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Rand (then Alisa Rosenbaum) lived through the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, Civil War, and the onset of Soviet totalitarian dictatorships--experiences that made her profoundly anticommunist. When in 1926 Rand escaped from Stalinist Russia to realize her talent in America, she was also determined to expose the Communist system.

Through her apprenticeship in Hollywood, where she worked as a scriptwriter, to her first anti-Communist novel, We the Living, Rand doggedly pursued her goal, battling the Soviet belief system, along with its precepts of collectivism and statism. She defended American capitalism, individualism, prosperity, and creativity; her literary heroes were talented high achievers. While Marx had declared war on capitalism and prophesied the triumph of the proletariat, Rand, whose family was dispossessed by the Bolsheviks, glorified the wealth-creator and held the masses in contempt. In Atlas Shrugged, her most controversial novel, she promoted laissez-faire capitalism and the morality of rational self-interest. She envisaged apocalypse in America if it followed the socialist path.

Publication Date: 
August 6, 2024