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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rand Revised

Ann Heller sat down with Nick Gillespie to talk about her recent well-received biography of Ayn Rand. I think Heller "gets it", she "[thinks] the core of [Rand's] appeal is her deep love of freedom ... old fashioned American values, hard work, application of your skills..." Certainly I have to agree with that assessment. The interview is enlightening and from reviews it seems that Heller explores Rand's childhood more than any other biographer.

Heller was surprised by "[how] deeply her hostility to liberal social programs was rooted in her Russian childhood, by her remarkable insight into the psychology of envy and mediocrity, by her personal courage, and by her unfailing ability to spot a flaw in any opposing argument... to discover that many of her former followers, though personally damaged by her temper and her moral absolutism, remembered her as the most important and beneficent person in their lives. They had been wounded by her and yet loved her and were protective of her memory and legend."

As someone in the comment section noted earlier, there is an upcoming film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. Not to fear, though, an Atlas Society trustee is responsible for the rights. "John Aglialoro optioned the film rights to Atlas Shrugged with full intent to bring a film version of the popular novel to the silver screen. He and his crew have now finished the filming of Part I of what will be a trilogy. David Kelley, founder and executive director of The Atlas Society, was a consultant on the script for the movie."

I've met Kelley, read his work, and, personally, find his writing to be the most compelling case for objectivism. I'm sure this translates well in the script, so I'm really looking forward to the film. First, though, I'll probably read Heller's work.


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  1. I'm sure it'll will be more "objective" than Jennifer Burns' myopic book. I personally find it humorous when socialist feminists pick up Ayn Rand on campus expecting something they will not get.

  2. Newly retired libertarian philosophy professor (friend of mine) has some very interesting insights into Ayn Rand:

    My first husband and I were Objectivists in the 1960's (we used to house sit for Nathaniel Branden and were also clients). No one knew what happened when Rand disowned him and the whole movement came crashing down without any explanations. It was wrenching and disorienting...as all "true believer" movements usually are at the end.

  3. Whittaker Chambers' review, "Big Sister is Watching You", should have dispensed with that awful book years ago. Those foolish enough not to be persuaded ought to have been persuaded by the lunacy of a speech that runs on, Castro like, for some 70 pages.

  4. I thought that 'The Fountainhead' was an adaptation of Rands book? Agree with William. I read her book in 1963 while in a Naval Hospital.

  5. I have only read Atlas Shrugged. It is a testament to my willingness to finish whatever book I start that I read the whole thing, because I had a strong temptation to pluck my eyeballs out of my socket by page 50.