CATHY YOUNG: The Rise Of Ayn Rand On Campus. “The question of Ayn Rand in academe has been made particularly relevant by the recent spike in her popularity. After the financial collapse of 2008, the Wall Street bailout, and the start of the Obama presidency—amidst widespread talk of the failure of markets and the inevitable rise of European-style social welfarism—there has been a marked resurgence of interest in Rand, an unabashed champion of capitalism and foe of big government. Sales of Atlas Shrugged, Rand’s 1955 mega-bestseller depicting a future America in the grip of economic collapse and socialist paralysis, soared in early 2009.”