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Freedom's Furies

Freedom's Furies

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"Freedom's Furies is a multi-layered journey through the influential, sometimes baffling, always provocative ideas of three women who left their marks on free-market thinking in ways many Americans fail to realize. Timothy Sandefur dug up their traces in surprising places and knitted together a story that will widen people's understanding of the New Deal era regardless of their political leanings."
―Christine Woodside, author of Libertarians on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of the Little House Books

In 1943, three books appeared that changed American politics forever: Isabel Paterson’s The God of the Machine, Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom, and Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. Together, they laid the groundwork for what became the modern libertarian movement.

Even more striking were the women behind these books: Paterson, a brilliant but misanthropic journalist whose weekly column made her one of the nation’s most important literary critics; Lane, a restless writer who secretly coauthored the Little House on the Prairie novels with her mother; and Rand, a philosophically inclined Russian immigrant ferociously devoted to heroic individualism. Working against the backdrop of changes in literature and politics, they joined forces to rally the nation to the principles of freedom that had come under attack at home and abroad.

Sometimes friends, at other times bitterly estranged, they became known as “the three furies of libertarianism.” Now, for the first time, author Timothy Sandefur examines their lives, ideas, and influences in the context of their times. Not a biography, but a story about personalities and ideas—about the literary, political, and cultural influences that shaped the destiny of freedom in America—Freedom’s Furies tells the dramatic story of three writers who strove to keep liberty alive in an age of darkness.