We bring this back up because the Times reports on 8/14/12:
EARLY in his Congressional career, Paul D. Ryan, the Wisconsin representative and presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee, would give out copies of Ayn Rand’s book “Atlas Shrugged” as Christmas presents. He described the novelist of heroic capitalism as “the reason I got into public service.”...According to Wikipedia, "Rand was born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum (Russian: Алиса Зиновьевна Розенбаум) in 1905, into a middle-class family living in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the eldest of three daughters (Alisa, Natasha, and Nora)."
Her parents were, "Zinovy Zacharovich Rosenbaum and Anna Borisovna Rosenbaum, agnostic and largely non-observant Jews. Her father was a chemist and a successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur who earned the privilege of living outside the Jewish Pale of Settlement."
And why did I first bring up this question on 1/15/09?
Because the Wall Street Journal published a strange essay by Stephen Moore, "'Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years."
In the essay Moore argues inexplicably that recent economic upheavals prove the underlying theories of Rand's objectivism are correct, starting off by saying,
Some years ago when I worked at the libertarian Cato Institute, we used to label any new hire who had not yet read "Atlas Shrugged" a "virgin." Being conversant in Ayn Rand's classic novel about the economic carnage caused by big government run amok was practically a job requirement. If only "Atlas" were required reading for every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration. I'm confident that we'd get out of the current financial mess a lot faster.It's an interesting essay to read. But I kept waiting for the author to expand his argument in light of the well-known fact that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose policies many blame for getting us into the "current financial mess," was a member of Rand's inner circle and a fervent follower and practitioner of her philosophies.
We expect that letters to the editor of the WSJ will point out this tiny little omission by Mr. Moore. And based on that reality of history, I too would recommend highly that congress and the Obama administration read the book, but to help them understand the Greenspan-Rand economics that brought us to the brink of depression.