When Jane (my daughter) went off to college, it was to UNLV which was only 60 miles from home. Therefore, she was able to come home often and usually with a large laundry basket, too. She grew up in a conservative household. Her father was a small business owner (of a newspaper) and employed up to 60 people. He is a rare journalist – a NON liberal.
We could see the liberal education at UNLV start creeping into her thought process. But we were still able to exert our influence because she came home often. It was scary to see the changes that the statist professors were having on her mindset. But somewhere in all that, she picked up Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and read it – all nearly 1200 pages of it. I can almost guarantee that not one of her professors suggested she read it nor was it on the reading list for any of her classes.
Then she read The Fountainhead and Anthem.
I remember one weekend she came home from college and said “Mom, you have to read this book!” waving Atlas Shrugged at me. It was a paperback, in 6pt font and thick as a brick. Yea, okay. One day I will.
And of course, never did. 6 point font? 1200 pages? You’ve got to be kidding me!
But then one day, a couple of years later, I found it on tape in a bookstore. I listened to it going back and forth to work and while I cleaned house and did laundry. I fell asleep at night listening to it. It was fabulous and enlightening and as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. It’s a celebration of freedom and capitalism. It was so good that I went out and bought the book.
I’ve read or listened to it now, 3 times.
The amazing thing about this is that Ayn Rand and her books are anti everything that Jane’s college professors were, and are still today, teaching. Jane discovered this book on her own and understood the message without Cliff notes or a college discussion class. And she came out of college with little liberal damage… Thank God!