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The Ayn Rand Cult

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ISBN 0-8126-9301-9



350 pages

(December 1998)

The Ayn Rand Cult

Jeffrey Walker

In this daring debunking of Ayn Rand and her inner circle, Jeff Walker looks at the woman behind The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. He follows the Objectivist movement from its beginnings in the 1940s, through its scandals and schisms caused by Rand's volatile and domineering personality, to what remains of it today. Shattering many myths about Rand, Walker exposes Objectivism as a classic cult, unusual in its emphasis on self-interest, rationality, and atheism, but typical of cults in its guru worship, thought control, trial and excommunication of deviants, and hostility to the outside world.

"Devastating. . . a useful corrective to the Rand mystique."

—Publishers Weekly

"Conveys vividly the frightful mess that was Ayn Rand."

—Kirkus Reviews

"An absorbing portrait of the still-thriving Rand movement. Walker provides some striking glimpses of the Randians [who] take themselves so seriously that they will never be in danger of understanding how amusing the rest of the world finds them."

—Robert Fulford, Globe & Mail

"A valuable and original contribution to Rand studies He analyzes the Objectivist movement, Rand's leadership role, and the politics of her inner circle in terms of the cult dynamic. This analytical perspective avoids the common extremes of hagiography and vilification that mark many accounts of Rand's schismatic movement. A solid contribution to 20th-century intellectual history."

—Library Journal

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