Tracing the emergence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism in the 1940s to her present-day influence, Darryl Cunningham’s latest work of graphic-nonfiction investigation leads readers to the heart of the global financial crisis of 2008. Cunningham uses Rand’s biography to illuminate the policies that led to the economic crash in the U.S. and in Europe, and how her philosophy continues to a ffect today’s politics and policies, starting with her most noted disciple, economist Alan Greenspan (former chairman of the Federal Reserve). Cunningham also shows how right-wing conservatives, libertarians, and the Tea Party movement have co-opted Rand’s teachings (and inherent contradictions) to promote personal gain and profit at the expense of the middle class. Tackling the complexities of economics by distilling them down to a series of concepts accessible to all age groups, Cunningham ultimately delivers a devastating analysis of our current economic world.
This work is both a highly effective example of graphic nonfiction and a strong critique of the connection between Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism and the 2008 financial collapse. Cunningham (Psychiatric Tales, How to Fake a Moon Landing) tackles this essential but byzantine subject with admirable clarity. The book examines how the attitudes and approaches of people including former Federal Reserve Chairman and Rand disciple Alan Greenspan helped establish the conditions for a worldwide financial meltdown. Financial institutions, sub-prime mortgages, and overwhelming greed did the rest. Although Cunningham is dealing with complicated economic matters, he is able to use straightforward panel arrangements and a simplified color palette to make the financial crisis accessible to the average reader; a detailed bibliography at the end shows the level of research. This book is a superb example of how powerful graphic nonfiction can be in taking complex events and making them frighteningly clear.