The Kennedy Kids in the Age of The Organization Man
During the 1950s, two impulses swept across the United States. One impulse that characterized the decade was detailed in two best-selling books of the times: the 1955 novel by Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, and the non-fiction The Organization Man, written by William H. Whyte and published in 1956. These books looked at the “American way of life” and how men got ahead on the job and in society. Both are bleak looks at the corporate world.

These books were underscored by Ayn Rand’s philosophy as expressed in such novels as Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957. Her philosophy of Objectivism proposed reason as man’s only proper judge of values and his only proper guide to action. Every man, according to Rand, was an end in himself. He must work for rational self-interest, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. Objectivism rejected any form of altruism.