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The Return of Ayn Rand: Will Economics Spark the Next Culture War?

Complete video at: Ayn Rand biographer Jennifer Burns examines the history of Rand's influence on the modern GOP. Examining the reemergence of Rand's popularity among Republicans, Burns speculates on the "unfolding of a new kind of culture war" centered on economic issues. ----- Two major new books on Ayn Rand testify to the continuing impact of America's most influential novelist of ideas. Sales of Rand's books have been impressive for 66 years -- more than 25 million -- and have recently surged, perhaps in response to the dramatic increase in government intrusion into the free market. Rand remains a major influence on both libertarian and conservative communities, and these two new studies illustrate the growing scholarly interest in her impact. Jennifer Burns, a professor of history at the University of Virginia, looks at the development of Rand's ideas and her alliances -- and clashes -- with other intellectual and political figures. New York writer Anne Heller draws on original research in Russia, dozens of interviews with Rand's relatives and acquaintances, and previously unexamined archives to develop the first complete and independent biography. - Cato Institute Jennifer Burns was educated at Harvard College and received her Ph.D. in American History from the University of California, Berkeley. Her new book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, began as her doctoral dissertation. She spent more than eight years working on the book, and was fortunate to be granted access to Rand's personal papers and private diaries for her research. Professor Burns teaches American history at the University of Virginia, and divides her time between Charlottesville, VA and Menlo Park, CA. Lectures from her introductory course on American history are available at and can be found by searching for History 7b in Social Sciences.
Length: 03:04


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