Shrugging off Atlas Shrugged

by John MacBeath Watkins

Paul Krugman points to a wonderful put-down of Ayn Rand from Kung Fu Monkey:

"-- There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

My  own take on Ayn Rand is that anyone who reads her should be required to read Crime and Punishment, a far better exploration of the superman ideal.