• Mean Girl

    by Lisa Duggan
    Price $18.95
    Special Order
    Mean Girl

Lisa Duggan


Mean Girl:
Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed

in conversation with LAUREN KAMINSKY

This event includes a book signing


October 4, 2019
3:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes journalist, activist, and academic LISA DUGGAN for a discussion of her latest book, Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed. She will be joined in conversation by LAUREN KAMINSKY, scholar of gender and the Soviet Union.

About Mean Girl

Ayn Rand’s complicated notoriety as popular writer, leader of a political and philosophical cult, reviled intellectual, and ostentatious public figure endured beyond her death in 1982. In the twenty-first century, she has been resurrected as a serious reference point for mainstream figures, especially those on the political right from Paul Ryan to Donald Trump. Mean Girl follows Rand’s trail through the twentieth century from the Russian Revolution to the Cold War and traces her posthumous appeal and the influence of her novels via her cruel, surly, sexy heroes. Outlining the impact of Rand’s philosophy of selfishness, Mean Girl illuminates the Randian shape of our neoliberal, contemporary culture of greed and the dilemmas we face in our political present.

Praise for Mean Girl

“Lisa Duggan does a deep dive into Ayn Rand so that we don’t have to. Instead, we can read Duggan’s impassioned, insightful, sometimes terrifying, sometimes humorous account of Rand’s philosophy and influence. Calls to understand and reject the allure of cruelty rarely feel as lucid and timely.” —Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts

“The self-described ‘man worshipper’ Ayn Rand titillated generations of strivers with her gospel of free-reign capitalism as the apex of human achievement. As that fiction yields ever more wreckage and despair, Mean Girl provides urgent insight into how Rand converted readers to her credo of self-flattery, pious greed, contempt for those in need, and obliviousness to history. Exalted are the profit-driven for they will inherit the earth? How could anyone come to embrace smug indifference to the suffering of others as worthy of admiration? Read this luminous account to find out.” —Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

Mean Girl offers an eye-opening panoramic view of the rise of the ‘open-air theater of cruelty’ that takes Ayn Rand as its muse. The whole package of power-love associated with Rand throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—biography, economics, cultural politics, white masculinity, authoritarianism, sexual violence—comes vividly to life here in Lisa Duggan’s beautiful, stunning rendering.” —Lauren Berlant, coauthor of Sex, or the Unbearable

Lauren Kaminsky
Lauren Kaminsky

Lauren Kaminsky

Lauren Kaminsky is a historian of gender and the Soviet Union who serves as the Director of Studies for the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, a Lecturer on History and Literature, and a Faculty Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.

Lisa Duggan
Lisa Duggan

Lisa Duggan

Lisa Duggan is an activist, journalist, historian and Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis at NYU. She has combined writing, organizing and teaching about the history of capitalism, feminist and queer theories, left activism and cultural politics. She is interested in political economies and in public feelings, in the organization of labor and the regulation of lust. Her previous books include Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture (co-authored with Nan Hunter), Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Sensationalism and American ModernityOur Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and National Interest (co-edited with Lauren Berlant), and Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics and the Attack on Democracy.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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