Maggie Gallagher on Ayn Rand

 Posted by on 7 November 2007 at 8:08 am  Uncategorized
Nov 072007

Well-known conservative columnist Maggie Gallagher has a rather nice column on the 50th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

The key to Ayn Rand is that she pictured America largely from early films from Hollywood. As a young girl growing up in the grim world of communist Russia, she saw America as we dreamed ourselves to be, and she longed her whole life with a child’s intensity to make this vision real, to live in it. We respond to her novels because they offer us one deep strand of American self-identity — as individualists, yes, but individualists who together dream big dreams, conquer wild frontiers, invent the future, remake our very selves.

She understood, the way so many pampered Hollywood artists don’t, that much of the romance of America is in business — in our dreams of making it, by making big new things, things no man has ever made before. Rand is virtually alone in seeing businessmen as fellow artists: makers, creators, inventors. In her novels, the greatness of the artist was matched by the greatness of the architect, the scientist, the entrepreneur and the railroad executive. The Homer of our era, she sang the song by which so many Americans live our lives.

Her rebuttal of the snide criticisms of conservative Terry Teachout is also quite delightful.

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