What book(s) influenced you?
by StarEditorBobDavis
Since Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his VP, the books of <a href="http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ayn-rand/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ayn Rand</a> have become a trending topic. That's because U.S. Rep. Ryan, R-Wisc., has famously and repeatedly cited Rand's works as highly influential in his development.&#160;<br /><br />In a 2005 speech Ryan said:<br /><br /><span>&#34;[T]he reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.&#8221;</span><span><br /><br /></span>The stories on Rand's influence on Ryan are stacking up. See <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/08/paul-ryan-and-ayn-rand.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/14/opinion/weiss-ryan-rand/index.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/15/opinion/ayn-rand-wouldnt-approve-of-paul-ryan.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/Jamie-Stiehm/2012/08/14/paul-ryans-dangerous-obsession-with-ayn-rand" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/12/news/la-pn-vp-paul-ryan-ayn-rand-20120811" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>&#160;and&#160;<a href="http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2012/08/15/ayn-rand-paul-ryan-and-the-issue-of-morality/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.&#160;<br /><br />The buzz will almost surely sell a few more copies of books by Rand, who died in 1982. Her most famous are <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-Ayn-Rand/dp/0451191145" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Atlas Shrugged</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Fountainhead-Ayn-Rand/dp/0451191153" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Fountainhead.</a><br /><br />Our question today, however, deals with books and their influence. What book(s) influenced your ideology/politics? Use the comments section below to cite a title, author and reason.<br /><br />Oh, and to get the ball rolling, allow me to offer my nominee: George Orwell's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/1984-Signet-Classics-George-Orwell/dp/0451524934" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">1984</a>, a novel that forecasts life under a totalitarian state. It's probably best read alongside Orwell's novella&#160;<a href="http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Animal_Farm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Animal Farm</a>, an interest examination of the corrupting influence of power.
© 2012