The Las Vegas Review-Journal has a piece about Ayn Rand’s growing popularity, with a few quotes from me:
Several news reports noted that sales of the novels on Amazon.com - and particularly of “Atlas Shrugged” - jumped significantly over the past several weeks. While that certainly was partly because of Ryan (who reportedly gave copies of “Atlas Shrugged” to his staff as Christmas presents and says he entered public service because of Rand), Don Watkins, co-author of “Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government” (Palgrave Macmillan, $27) sees something else happening.
“I think, really, to understand today’s world and how we got here economically and politically, you have to know her view,” said Watkins, who also is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute. “You don’t have to agree with her ideas, but you have to be familiar with them because she’s such a part of the debate.”
Watkins says sales of Rand’s novels have been increasing since her death in 1982, but that there’s been a renaissance since 2009.
“It’s not just people reading her,” he added. “Her ideas have really started getting injected into the debate.”
For that, credit the rise of the tea party - protesters at tea party rallies could be seen holding signs referencing John Galt, the hero of “Atlas Shrugged” - and a continuing national debate over how much government we need or want and whether the redistribution of wealth is a valid function of government.
“Her pre-eminent support of capitalism in her works has been extraordinarily influential,” Watkins said, and Rand remains “the only person to praise capitalism in moral terms, to argue that capitalism and freer markets are not only economically superior but morally superior.”