tv Interview with Jennifer Grossman Ayn Rands Anthem CSPAN August 10, 2019 4:20pm-4:41pm EDT
they reflect on growing up with polio. the post white house years the former virginia democratic governor provides that high mind of the event that led up to the tragedy in charlottesville. economics professor robert lawson weighs in on socialism and the former public radio host offers her thoughts on how women can reclaim their voice. check your cable guide for more schedule information. >> jennifer grossman who is eyeing rant. an immigrant in 1905. they witnessed their russian revolution when she was just 12. from the window of her parents apartment.
after the revolution the communist came and took her parents business they wandered and struggled she was inspired by what she saw that there was up possibility that they would live their life and pursue her dreams and that place was america. she barely spoke a word of english. the epic novel that we know her best buy the fountainhead in between those two books she
wrote in them which was a short sci-fi novel and that's when we chose to adapt with the graphic novel. what was her philosophy. she still relevant among a segment of society today. you been watching politics lately what we are seeing a lot of his entitlement the 1% are the ones that are causing the problems in our society. we are seeing an epidemic of envy which they called the hatred of the good. we are seen epidemic of greed not is as its popular and as the desire. in a moral moment as a country
a very fundamental space of fairness. people are searching for answers. they challenged all of those ideas and all of those values. she saw firsthand what collectivism have brought and how it have destroyed her country. she came to america with these ideas being glamorized and popularized and it was none too appreciated. her book was celebrated really unlike any else that came along and a lot of people including myself to and said wow, one of our board i said
how did you first hear about this book. he said he remembers as a child he was in class he was born teacher writing and this is a dangerous woman. as a 12-year-old boy he perked up i better take a look. her ideas directly challenge the premise. >> you talked about the board what board is this. >> the board of the nonprofit philosophy tank which i'm privileged to run. i spent been about three and half years. it's been around for 30 years it was founded philosopher named david kelly and it has
been dedicated to advancing her philosophy. we have a friend intake on objectivism and in the time that i had been involved with the organization i had been very involved with making sure that we identify our market as younger people who are being influenced by social media communicate in ways that would be easily acceptable and communicated to them. we are now the top engaged proposed facebook page in the liberty movement all the conferences were doing all of the graphic novels. we thought this was a good way to adapt.
why do they call the philosophy objectivism. she that's a very good question. she called it objectivism because it was a branch of philosophy and had five branches in in and believes that this world is reality that reality exists but is not what you think it is. we can use our mind to identify it. it was premised on the idea that reality exist the identity axiom. that's what why she calls it objectivism she believes that the objective reality and very different in the whole
postmodern idea at that they're there based on the perspective. >> is it a moral philosophy is a deeply moral philosophy and is actually historically you think how could it be that she has issues or conservatives for this and that. and it goes back to the morality and ethics which were based on individualism and self ownership that we have a right to our own lives. our founders believed that too. it is not a moral in any sense. it is deeply moral not religious but moral and even some say these are life and alive and they are sacred. what is about? >> it was written in 1938 and
it is dystopian world in which the premise of collectivism to soul fruit is a society in which the word i has been abolished in which names have been abolished in individual choice has been abolished and it's is really the story of what happens when someone who is a true individual in some ways a very talented and curious and capable individual finds himself in the society and starts to think for himself. does the research increase in invention that he thinks will be of great service to the fellow and the highest moral duty. and as a story is a story about what happens to him.
a lot of dystopian stories. hunger games and a lot of things we see in popular culture it also has also has a moral message to it. and it predates about ten years. it is similar. >> in some ways shorter but i think it's enormously appealing and we been shocked to see how popular it has been. we came out with it a year ago at freedom fest and we sold and distributed 25 copies since then. again in our writing we have taken the artwork of graphic novels we've been award
winning model comic illustrator and with him and animated the work that has proved very popular students. sold in the extent that alice or the fountain had was. >> who is your co- editor or co- adapter. and he he also did the illustrations. he was at the san diego comic con. one of the great benefits of branching out into the space was that a lot of libertarians would go to these kinds of conferences so we now are exhibiting not just every school student conference we bennett, kind of how the.
.. .. >> i think you could define it that the right is hourtarian or nationalistic, the left is socialist, but i like to tend to look at things more in the scope of are you really in favor of minimal government and maximum freedom, or are you really believe that the government should make most of our choices. so it's that extreme in terms of having the most minimal government possible, there are some anarchists and probably a lot around here.
we are not anarchists. we do believe in government as necessary to secure property rights. so i could possibly see a dystopian future in which there was no protections for property rights. but i know i'd probably get a lot of argument around here. >> host: how did you come to believe in this law though? >> guest: well, that's a very good question. i think i came to it a little bit later than most. i was born in new delhi, india. my participants worked in the -- parented works in the peace corpses, so i was raised as a peace corps baby. i grew up in newton, massachusetts, which is a very liberal community. my participants were dem -- parents were democrats. i don't think i ever met a republican or a conservative or anything in all of my childhood years and really grew up believing that everybody who didn't think like us was either very dumb, or they were really bad people.
i went to college at harvard, and even there -- which is not exactly a bastion of conservativism -- i began to meet people that weren't necessarily liberals and democrats, but they weren't dumb, and they didn't seem to be really sadists, getting up every morning trying to figure out how to hurt people. i started to do a little bit of research. there was a crack in sort of what i understood things to be, similar to what the protagonist in anthem found. and the more i learned and dug deeper, the more i really found that i believed in individualism, and i believed in values like achievement and productivity and liberty. and that's what resonated with me. and when i read ayn rand, i was, like, that's it, this is absolutely what i believe in. and i felt a debt of gratitude,
and gratitude is a new theme we're promoting and working on at the atlas society as an antidote to what appears in our society today. i found a debt of gratitude. i wanted to repay that debt by sharing this philosophy with others. and i don't know, maybe it's the peace corpses baby in me -- peace corps in me, but i think we like to create benevolent communities, and i would like to help others, i would like to make the world a better place. i would like to help them discover these answers that have been so deeply empowering for me. >> host: where were the difficulties of turning anthem, the novella, into anthem, the graphic novel? >> guest: well, that's another very good question. i think one of the challenges is the atlas society, we are a small nonprofit, we are
dependent on people believing in us and investing in us. so as they say, needs are infinite, resources are finite. so we had finite resources in order to accomplish this. so we found an artist that also really believed in this book and wanted to work with us and was willing to do it at a cost that we could afford and that he could afford. and i think one interesting challenge with that is i think he really was doing it as a labor of love, and he believed in this kind of work, you know? this is my creation. giving any direction and asking him to change his artwork or asking him to change the characters, that had to be done very diplomatically because, you know, -- [inaudible] so that was the challenge. >> host: did you have to edit it
down? >> guest: not at all. >> host: the swire novella is included -- >> guest: i wouldn't say, i mean, there is some adaptation, but i'd say 90% is in there. there's a little bit of some passages, some punctuation has been changed, and that gets back to your other question which was, was it a challenge in creating a piece of art, a piece ofture like this -- literature like this. people who are comic book consumers, they are used to seeing their cop tent, their product -- their content, their product in a particular way which is not a lot of words. so for a comic book, this is probably still a little wordy. but i was trying to balance two goals here. one was being authentic and doing justice to what ayn rand wrote, and i couldn't have written it any better, but at
the same time making sure that it was accessible and popular with people that i believed could benefit. so there you go. >> host: any thought about "atlas shrugged" and fountainhead becoming graphic novels? >> guest: we stand ready. we will help with that process. we do not own the copyright to those two -- >> host: who owns the copyright? >> guest: the estate of ayn rand. the ayn rand institute. so i heard a couple of years ago right after we announced that we were going to be doing this graphic novel, there was an announcement that they were going to do a graphic novel also of "atlas. shrugged," and that was maybe three years ago. we'll do it deeply, and we'll do
it well. we've got the distribution so give us a call. >> host: is there tension between the ayn rand institute or estate and the at a las society? atlas society? >> guest: well, the ayn -- the atlas society, which was founded by david kelly, was actually founded, in part it was because of a tension between the two groups. he was kind of formally rejected by the ayn rand institute, and so -- which was kind of tragic, because, you know, there's not that many princeton-trained philosophers around. but, so he founded his own organization, and from that, the atlas society has grown. >> host: and where is the anthem, the graphic novel, available? >> guest: it is available on
amazon, we are doing giveaways every month. we've had tens of thousands of people sign up for that. and then it's also available, as i said, as a video series on youtube, on all of our -- on our facebook and on our web site in the now playing section. >> host: jennifer grossman, who is ceo of the atlas society and the adapter of this book, "ayn rand's anthem: the graphic novel," thanks for joining us on booktv. >> guest: thanks for having me. >> you're watching booktv on c-span 2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. finish. >> here are some programs to watch out for this weekend. our guest on "after words" is former virginia democratic governor terry mcauliffe. he offers his thoughts on the events that led up to the tragedy in charlottesville following the unite the right
rally in 2017. also casey pipes, former adviser to president george w. bush, talks about the post-white house years of president richard nixon. then a woman who contracted polio as a baby talks about growing up with a disability and becoming a disability rights activist. we talk to warren farrell, chair of the commission to create a white house council on boys and men, about his latest book, "the boy crisis." and former public radio host veronica rick earth offers her thoughts on how women can reclaim their voice. check your cable guide or visit booktv.org for a complete schedule of all the programs airing this weekend. >> booktv recently went to capitol hill to ask representative john garamendi of california what was on his reading list. >> a lot of things. first of all, there's a lot of papers i have to read, various reports. some classified, others, ongoing work asha