Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. HellerAyn Rand is best known as the author of the perennially bestselling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Altogether, more than 12 million copies of the two novels have been sold in the United States. The books have attracted three generations of readers, shaped the foundation of the Libertarian movement, and influenced White House economic policies throughout the Reagan years and beyond. A passionate advocate of laissez-faire capitalism and individual rights, Rand remains a powerful force in the political perceptions of Americans today. Yet twenty-five years after her death, her readers know little about her life.
In this seminal biography, Anne C. Heller traces the controversial author’s life from her childhood in Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution to her years as a screenwriter in Hollywood, the publication of her blockbuster novels, and the rise and fall of the cult that formed around her in the 1950s and 1960s. Throughout, Heller reveals previously unknown facts about Rand’s history and looks at Rand with new research and a fresh perspective.
Based on original research in Russia, dozens of interviews with Rand’s acquaintances and former acolytes, and previously unexamined archives of tapes and letters, AYN RAND AND THE WORLD SHE MADE is a comprehensive and eye-opening portrait of one of the most significant and improbable figures of the twentieth century.
Ayn Rand and the World She Made
Thank you! The long career and cluttered personal life of the writer who said she owed no philosophical debts to anyone but Aristotle. The founder of the philosophy of Objectivism and author of perennial bestsellers The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged could be petty, vindictive, disingenuous, deceptive and profoundly needy. She frequently quoted her characters as if they were real, and she maintained a secret sexual relationship with the much younger Nathaniel Branden, who was her designated financial and intellectual heir until he betrayed her for a younger woman. Heller spends a large portion of the narrative following the arc of the Branden relationship he was married, as well , and its complexities and intensities ultimately became pathetic and wearisome. There was a problem adding your email address.
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A specter is haunting the Republican Party — the specter of John Galt. You have nothing to offer us., Blunt and socially awkward, but also brilliant and single-minded, she began her improbable career as a junior screenwriter for Cecil B.
She was one of the most controversial and influential figures of the 20th century, but her life has never been chronicled by an impartial biographer—until now. More than fifty years after The Fountainead and Atlas Shrugged were written by Ayn Rand, she remains a revered, reviled, and extremely vital force in American intellectual life. Now journalist Anne C. Heller makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate about Rand with this masterful biography. A discussion guide is available for reading groups. Heller has done an extraordinary job.
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Heller was a journalist who first heard of Rand while working as a magazine editor. Writer Suze Orman gave Heller a copy of an excerpt from Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged in which a character explains Rand's views on money. Heller's interest was piqued by Rand's unusual viewpoint, and she subsequently read extensively from Rand's other writings. As research for the book, Heller interviewed a number of Rand's former associates and listened to unreleased recordings of interviews conducted by others. They included extensive interviews that Barbara Branden conducted with Rand in the s as preparation for Branden's biographical essay in Who Is Ayn Rand? Heller also hired a Russian research team to find archival material related to Rand's early life in Russia.