Before It Began With Ayn Rand


Jerome Tuccille's satiric memoir/history of the libertarian movement, It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand, might not be the most accurate book on the subject, but it's certainly the most entertaining; it belongs on the same shelf as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and other semi-fictional offshoots of the New Journalism. Now there's a prequel, Heretic, that describes Tuccille's earlier years. There isn't much explicitly libertarian content here—that's why this is a blog post instead of a full-fledged review—but it's an eminently readable collection of yarns, covering the author's roots in the Bronx, his travels around the globe, and his various religious conversions and sexual misadventures. (Those last two sometimes go hand-in-hand.) Tuccille is a talented storyteller, and he has a knack for bragging and mocking himself at the same time; if you enjoyed It Usually Begins, you'll probably like this one as well.