In 1972, Jerome Tuccille published It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand, his memoir of the libertarian movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Palling around with the likes of economist Murray Rothbard, former Goldwater speechwriter Karl Hess, and others, Tuccille sought to fashion a left-right coalition between elements of the New Left and and the Old Right.
It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand is at once whimsical and moving, poignant and penetrating in its insights about political movements and personal failures. Re-released in a new and expanded edition last year, it remains required reading for anyone interested in the libertarian movement-or the American political scene of the past 40 years.
Since 1972, Tuccille has kept busy writing books such as Trump, Alan Shrugged: Alan Greenspan, the World's Most Powerful Banker, and Heretic: Confessions of an Ex-Catholic Rebel. His latest volume is the new and eminently readable Gallery of Fools: The True Story of a Celebrated Manhattan Art Theft, which follows the author's unlikely and unwitting participation after-the-fact in a major New York art heist.
The always outspoken and controversial Tuccille recently sat down with reason.tv to discuss the influence and reach of Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Milton Friedman. And to talk about how libertarian ideas-and the Libertarian Party-may have a major impact on the 2008 presidential race.