The prelude to all of that was the 1930s, when the nation’s intellectuals first grappled with the meaning and significance of Russia’s revolution. And it was in this decade that Ayn Rand came to political consciousness, reworking her opposition to Soviet Communism into a powerful defense of the individual
.. The Great Depression had cast its dark shadow over the American dream.
.. In this moment, Soviet Russia stood out to the nation’s thinking class as a sign of hope. Communism, it was believed, had helped Russia avoid the worst ravages of the crash.
.. Rand had taken for granted there would be “pinks” in America, but she hadn’t known they would matter, certainly not in New York City, one of the literary capitals of the world.
.. a drama that would shape American thought and politics for the rest of the century: a bitter love triangle between Communists, ex-Communists and anti-Communists.
.. another Soviet inheritance: agitprop novels, dedicated to showcasing heroic individualists and entrepreneurs.