While the rating tells you how good a book is according to our two core criteria, it says nothing about its particular defining features. Therefore, we use a set of 20 qualities to characterize each book by its strengths:
Applicable – You’ll get advice that can be directly applied in the workplace or in everyday situations.
Analytical – You’ll understand the inner workings of the subject matter.
Background – You’ll get contextual knowledge as a frame for informed action or analysis.
Bold – You’ll find arguments that may break with predominant views.
Comprehensive – You’ll find every aspect of the subject matter covered.
Concrete Examples – You’ll get practical advice illustrated with examples of real-world applications or anecdotes.
Controversial – You’ll be confronted with strongly debated opinions.
Eloquent – You’ll enjoy a masterfully written or presented text.
Engaging – You’ll read or watch this all the way through the end.
Eye opening – You’ll be offered highly surprising insights.
For beginners – You’ll find this to be a good primer if you’re a learner with little or no prior experience/knowledge.
For experts – You’ll get the higher-level knowledge/instructions you need as an expert.
Hot Topic – You’ll find yourself in the middle of a highly debated issue.
Innovative – You can expect some truly fresh ideas and insights on brand-new products or trends.
Insider’s take – You’ll have the privilege of learning from someone who knows her or his topic inside-out.
Inspiring – You’ll want to put into practice what you’ve read immediately.
Overview – You’ll get a broad treatment of the subject matter, mentioning all its major aspects.
Scientific – You’ll get facts and figures grounded in scientific research.
Visionary – You’ll get a glimpse of the future and what it might mean for you.
Well structured – You’ll find this to be particularly well organized to support its reception or application.
To understand the US far right’s intellectual underpinnings and resolve, you must know Ayn Rand, the influential Russian Jewish immigrant and author. This enigmatic woman’s ideas about reason, individualism, personal freedom and the importance of a free market shaped and continue to shape modern conservatism. Rand articulated a hero-role for the individual in her two best-known novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Her contempt for the altruistic and collectivist and her praise of individuality inspired business leaders. Rand – who died in 1982 – was as idiosyncratic as her novels’ protagonists and was seldom an ally to Republicans or libertarians. Author Jennifer Burns describes Rand’s bizarre private life, in which she tried to reconcile a new philosophy, an unconventional romantic vision and the emotional storms she created. getAbstract recommends this compelling biography as a great story and essential reading for those seeking to understand where the far right finds its convictions. As the Republican Party seeks an identity that’s paradoxically inclusive and traditionally conservative, Rand’s life serves as liner notes.
About the Author
Jennifer Burns is an assistant professor at Stanford University, where she teaches American political, cultural and intellectual history.