Jennifer Burns, author of the forthcoming book Ayn Rand: Goddess of the Market, talked to Jon Stewart last night about the resurgence of Ayn Rand in popular culture recently. Though she admitted that, having started the book eight years ago, she couldn't have predicted the renewed interest, she did explain that interest in Ayn Rand is cyclical, usually corresponding with political cycles -- when there's a liberal administration, the conservatives once again turn to Ayn Rand.
Recent evidence of a resurgence includes this summer's negotiations between Lionsgate and Charlize Theron about a possible movie adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, though Charlize was apparently concerned that a regular film would "lose many of the nuances" of the book, and has proposed a mini-series instead, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reason Magazine declares that 2009 is "the year of Ayn Rand," and a Wall Street Journal article in January declared that the bailout plans were straight out of Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand has been used as a figurehead of the tea party protests this year, and she's also found an academic revival in universities all over the country.
Lucky for Jennifer Burns, at least, who gets to ride the wave of revival. And let us know of any Ayn Rand reading groups you hear about.