The Literary Canon of The Tea Party

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The world may best know Glenn Beck and Rand Paul as Tea Party leaders. But Beck and Paul also happen to be avid readers, and both have mentioned their fondness for Ayn Rand and her dystopian novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Widely celebrated by Tea Party leaders, Ayn Rand's books have become centerpieces of the Tea Party’s literary canon; over the last year and a half, sales of her books have tripled as a result over the past year and a half.

How did this happen? What other books are on the Tea Party’s list of favorites? And what similarities does their canon bear to those of other political movements?

Patrik Henry Bass, our friend and senior editor at Essence Magazine, helps us better understand it all. Check out Patrik's Tea Party Reading List below:

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer


Patrik Henry Bass

Comments [6]

hh from brooklyn

@amalgam, thanks. no but i would like to go there one day.

Oct. 07 2010 11:19 AM
CBK from Somerville, MA

For those clearheaded minds among us who advocate for Social Democracy and who have seen the masses funneled down the whirlpool at the behest of the no tax, pro-sweatshop, no public utility, no benefit laissez-faire agenda, I will draw attention to the following:

Recent writings on Demand-Side Economics and Criticisms of Unregulated Globalization:

Joseph Stiglitz, "Whither Socialism" (MIT Press, 1994)

Barbara Ehrenreich,
"Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" (Metropolitan Books, 2002)

Naomi Klein,
"No Logo" (Knopf Canada, 2000)

Noam Chomsky, "Profit over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order" (Seven Stories Press, 1999) and "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" (1988, 2002)

The publications of the Economic Policy Institute and the media releases of Charles Kernaghan and the National Labor Committee

---More Theoretical Texts backing the basic principles of Social Democracy: Completely Partial, Nonhaustive---

Jurgen Habermas, "Knowledge and Human Interests" (English Trans. 1971, German orig.1968) and "The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity" (English Trans. 1987, German orig. 1985)

John Rawls, "A Theory of Justice" (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971)

Oct. 07 2010 10:45 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

@ hh from brooklyn - Good reading list. Sounds like you went to The New School for SR (as i did)...

Oct. 07 2010 09:55 AM
Amy from MA

The best political/economics book I've read is For the Common Good by Daly and Cobb. It's 20 years old, but carefully laid out the argument that people need to be as free to move as capital.

Oct. 07 2010 09:45 AM
hh from brooklyn

In terms of recent and current books which I feel are crucial in understanding current political predicaments I find the following to be very important.

Hannah Arendt "Origins of Totalitarianism", "On Violence", "The Trial of Eichmann: A Report on the Banality of Evil"

Carl Schmitt. "Political Theology"

Giorgio Agamben: "State of Exception", "Homo Sacer"

Slavoj Zizek "First as Tragedy then as Farce"

Oct. 07 2010 09:09 AM
Goldie from Atlanta, GA

It seems like today's Tea Party is also a reminder of Barry Goldwater and his extreme policies. Same stuff, different day.

Oct. 07 2010 08:43 AM

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