Ayn Rand (1905-1982) was a writer and philosopher. Having fled from Russia to the United States, she turned resolutely against all forms of altruism, putting her faith in the absolute freedom of the individual. Her books and beliefs inspired and provoked, selling in their millions. The Fountainhead is Rand's most famous novel. Her other great novel Atlas Shrugged, an ode to capitalism, is the most popular book in the United States after the Holy Bible and was a major source of inspiration to the Republican Party in the run-up to the last elections.