The Three “Furies” of Libertarianism: Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and Ayn Rand

JENNIFER BURNS
THE JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY 102.3 (2015): 746-774

Abstract:  To William F. Buckley Jr., they were the “three furies” of libertarianism: the children’s author and magazine writer Rose Wilder Lane, the book critic Isabel Paterson, and the best-selling novelist Ayn Rand. Popular writers who are not typically remembered as significant intellectuals, Lane, Paterson, and Rand nonetheless exerted, according to their contemporaries, a powerful influence on the ideological development of the American Right. But what exactly was this influence, and how should historians make sense of the striking presence of three women, bound by similar life experiences and tenuous bonds of friendship, at the core of modern antistatism?