Though I find Ayn Rand a little preachy Taylor Caldwell had more nuance. She really put you in the story, wheareas Ayn Rand had a specific message. Ms. Caldwell had more nuance. I think she had more respect for her characters, which makes reading her books so much more interesting.
Peter Gemma, in his Summer 2012 Quarterly Review masterfully places where Taylor Caldwell's support in the 1950s and 1960s would be assessed as belonging in the political record. She was closer to the Fox News of today than she was to the underpinnings of the Koch Brothers and Bradley Brothers. When offered a "microphone" (newspaper space, and she often was) she let forth in tirades against the left which she regarded as weak self-deceivers. In her novels, though, she as often ranted against the right as liars (and much worse) whom she regarded as acutely aware of what would bring them power, money, glory, with – dependent on their moods – regular reorderings of those acquisitions. Today, the Koch Brothers and conservative foundations to which they funnel money from other unimaginably wealthy like-minded conservatives (like hedge funders Rebekkah and Robert Mercer, and the DeVos family), have made their piece with Fox News. Indeed, the Koch Brothers don't even sound like Fox News when, say, a Barbara Walters interviews them in person. They may feel their sophistication has separated them from the tawdrier aspects of Fox News. None of these, however, capture the two-sidedness of the public Caldwell versus the novelist Caldwell. That might come from a simple fact about writing a novel in the middle of the 20th century. To get it published, the author needed a certain decorum. I aver, though, that reason doesn't explain it. Her novelistic pronouncements against both the right and the left were intelligent, prescient, and often subtle, contrary to her newspaper diatribes. Not the subtlety of Henry James or George Elliott, yet still with a deft touch drawn through the threads of her characters' lives. I would suggest, further, that neither the novel or public side represented the whole Taylor Caldwell, whom Peter Gemma casts as of melancholy temperament, possibly having manic-depressive elements. What this leave out is the 3rd and significant aspect of Caldwell. Her private self. The person closest to Taylor Caldwell, especially as the years went on, was her surviving child, Peggy, the mother of us descendants. Peggy has an autobiography, that is no more an autobiography of Peggy than was that of Alice B. Toklas. Peggy was not a writer. Unfortunately, the first chapters read more like anguished self-pitying than valued perspective. Yet, the long middle of Peggy's lengthy, poorly typed, manuscript, captures Caldwell herself, quotes and all, as nothing else does. It wasn't unexpurgated Taylor Caldwell, but a needy TC. There are two reasons Peggy went after this. First: Peggy was trying to understand her value in her mother's eyes versus her mother's momentary need for her on the long cruises they shared. Second: TC was the only person Peggy ever really loved. Eventually what Peggy recorded was a pitiless picture of how she was even secondary to her sister, Judy, who had committed suicide. Peter Gemma has a quote of TC on her thoughts on children that would cause most mothers to shudder. It takes a book to see from that what Peggy discovered.