Isabel Paterson (22 January 1886 – 10 January 1961) was a Canadian-American journalist, novelist, political philosopher and a leading literary and cultural critic of her day. Historian Jim Powell has called Paterson one of the three founding mothers of American libertarianism, along with Rose Wilder Lane and Ayn Rand, who both acknowledged an intellectual debt to Paterson. Paterson's best-known work, her 1943 book The God of the Machine, a treatise on political philosophy, economics and history, reached conclusions and espoused beliefs that many libertarians credit as a foundation of their philosophy. Her biographer Stephen D. Cox (2004) believes Paterson was the "earliest progenitor of libertarianism as we know it today". In a letter of 1943, Ayn Rand wrote that The God of the Machine is a document that could literally save the world ... The God of the Machine does for capitalism what Das Kapital does for the Reds and what the Bible did for Christianity".
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