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Ayn Rand: Prophet or Scapegoat?

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Uploaded on Nov 23, 2009

Jennifer Burns talks about how Ayn Rand's best-selling novels have shaped our understanding of capitalism, markets and the government's role in the economy.

Rand's ideas have been front and center in recent debates over the financial crisis. Some blame Rand's celebration of free markets for the catastrophe, pointing to -- among other things -- her long relationship with Alan Greenspan. Others claim her works provide a compelling case against bank bailouts and the dire consequences sure to follow.

A professor of history at the University of Virginia, Burns visited Columbia Business School to talk about her new book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (Oxford University Press). Ray Horton, the Frank R.
Lautenberg Professor of Ethics and Corporate Governance, introduced Burns, whose talk was followed by a Q&A session.

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