Psychotherapist, author of The Psychology of Self-Esteem
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  • Nathaniel Branden

    Nathaniel Branden (born Nathan Blumenthal; 9 April 1930 – 3 December 2014) was a Canadian–American psychotherapist and writer known for his work in the psychology of self-esteem. A former associate and romantic partner of Ayn Rand, Branden also played a prominent role in the 1960s in promoting Rand's philosophy, Objectivism. Rand and Branden split acrimoniously in 1968, after which Branden focused on developing his own psychological theories and modes of therapy.

    Home Page

    Nathaniel Branden
    "My mission is to inspire readers to honor their life and happiness"


    Branden, Nathaniel (1930-2014), by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Nathaniel Branden (born Nathan Blumenthal) is known to many as 'the father of the self-esteem movement.' Branden is the author of 20 books that explore the philosophical, psychological, and cultural foundations of individualism and the free society. Having developed a close personal relationship with novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (whom he met as a college student in 1950), in 1958 Branden started Nathaniel Branden Lectures, in which he addressed and expanded on the psychological issues raised by Rand. These lectures were later formalized into the Nathaniel Branden Institute (NBI)."
    Related Topic: Society

    Images - Nathaniel Branden
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    9 Apr 1930, Nathan Blumenthal, in Brampton, Ontario


    3 Dec 2014, in Los Angeles


    About Dr. Nathaniel Branden
    "Over the last seven decades, Dr. Branden has lectured on self-esteem and its impact on love, work and the struggle for contentment. During this time, the subject of self-esteem has evolved from one that struggled to gain widespread acceptance to one that is discussed daily. During his prolific career, Dr. Branden has written nearly 20 books on self-esteem, including such luminary works as The Psychology of Self-Esteem, How to Raise Your Self-Esteem, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem and The Art of Living Consciously."
    Laissez Faire Books
    "Nathaniel Branden has played a major role promoting the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand and helping people raise their self-esteem. He met Rand in 1950, joined her inner circle, began an affair with her and effectively promoted her ideas nation-wide via the Nathaniel Branden Institute. He proved to be an energetic and imaginative intellectual entrepreneur. His lecture courses on Objectivism are still available. His memoir Judgment Day (1986) provided an inside view of Rand and his tumultuous relationship with her."


    The Objectivist, Editor, January 1962-July 1968

    Web Pages

    Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education: Nathaniel Branden - Libertarian
    Biography (from Laissez Faire Books), photo and quotes
    "His book The Psychology of Self-Esteem (1969) was published after his split with Rand. ... Altogether, Dr. Branden's books have been translated into 18 languages and sold over 3.5 million copies."


    "And the Pursuit of Happiness": Nathaniel Branden, RIP, by Sheldon Richman, 12 Dec 2014
    Memorial essay, including some personal recollections, with emphasis on Branden's work on self-esteem and self-responsibility
    "Branden, of course, became known to the world as the man who helped systematize and present the philosophy dramatized in Ayn Rand’s novels, especially Atlas Shrugged. ... After his break with Rand, Branden moved from New York City to Los Angeles, where he made a name for himself through a series of books about the role of self-esteem in the pursuit of happiness, work he had begun while he was Rand's associate."
    Related Topic: Personal Responsibility
    Rand, Ayn (1905-1982), by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "In the years after Atlas Shrugged, Rand worked with her closest associate, Nathaniel Branden, who organized the Nathaniel Branden Institute to disseminate the principles of Objectivism. After a bitter personal break with Rand in 1968, Branden established himself as an independent psychologist and a pioneer of the 'self-esteem movement.' However, in its heyday, Branden's institute was to influence a large number of students, offering live and taped lecture courses dealing with every aspect of Rand's thought—from her epistemology to her esthetics."
    The 1977 Libertarian Party National Convention, by Tom Avery, Tom G. Palmer, Libertarian Review, Oct 1977
    Recounts the main events of the convention, highlighting several of the speakers and their messages
    "Later in the evening, Nathaniel Branden spoke to a massive number of libertarians gathered to hear him discuss his personal odyssey 'From Objectivism to the Forty-Hour Intensive.' Branden discussed his relationship with Objectivism and Ayn Rand, and told how he had come to his present views and concerns. His Forty-Hour Intensive has ignited the interest of people all over the country, libertarians and non-libertarians alike. Dr. Branden received a warm and enthusiastic reception, and fielded questions long into the night."


    Objectivist Ethics in the Information-Age Economy, Navigator, Feb 2001
    After reviewing human progress, from hunter to farmer to laborer to thinker, argues that objectivist ethics are more relevant to current society
    "... the ethics of Objectivism has a new relevance and a new urgency in our global, information-age economy. ... The mind has always been our basic tool of survival. But for most of our history, this fact was not understood. Today, it is obvious to (almost) the whole world."
    Related Topic: Ethics


    Nathaniel Branden, by Nathaniel Branden, Karen Reedstrom, Full Context, Sep 1996
    In two parts; topics range from David Kelley, objectivisim, Ayn Rand, Barbara Branden, Leonard Peikoff, homosexuality, self-esteem and more
    "Q: Okay, what are the two most important things you've learned? Branden: Let yourself know and fully experience how important love is and honor that importance in your actions. Don't ever be careless with love. Be aware of the preciousness of each moment of your existence. ... Don't deny or disown what you see or experience merely because you can't explain it, justify it, or fit it into some familiar frame-of-reference. Allow a large space in your psyche to accommodate ambiguity and uncertainty."

    Books Authored

    Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
        by Nathaniel Branden ("Common Fallacies About Capitalism" and "Alienation"), Alan Greenspan, Robert Hessen, Ayn Rand, 1946
    Essays by Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan and Robert Hessen; partial list: What is Capitalism? - Gold and Economic Freedom - The Anatomy of Compromise - Conservatism: An Obituary - The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus - The Nature of Government
    Related Topic: Capitalism
    Honoring the Self: Self-Esteem and Personal Tranformation, 1983
    Related Topic: Self-Esteem
    Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand, 1989
    1999 edition is titled My Years with Ayn Rand
    Related Topic: Ayn Rand
    Reason Versus Mysticism, 1997
    2 audiotapes, adapted from The Art of Living Consciously
    Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, 1994
    Related Topic: Self-Esteem
    Taking Responsibility: Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life, 1996
    Related Topic: Personal Responsibility
    The Psychology of Romantic Love: What Love Is, Why Love Is Born, Why It Sometimes Grows, Why It Sometimes Dies, 1980
    Related Topic: Romantic Love
    The Psychology of Self-Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Understanding that Launched a New Era in Modern Psychology, 1969
    Related Topic: Self-Esteem
    The Romantic Love Question and Answer Book, 1982
    Related Topic: Romantic Love
    The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism
        by Nathaniel Branden ("Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice" and five more chapters), Ayn Rand, 1964
    Partial contents: The Objectivist Ethics - The Ethics of Emergencies - The "Conflicts" of Men's Interests - Isn't Everyone Selfish? - The Psychology of Pleasure - Doesn't Life Require Compromise? - The Nature of Government - The Argument from Intimidation
    Related Topic: Ethics


    Nathaniel Branden: Self Esteem & Libertarianism, 2000
    Talk given at a Libertarian Party of California event about "the connection between the workings of free-market capitalism, the self-esteem movement, and the Information Age"
    Related Topic: Self-Esteem

    Nathaniel Branden on "My Years With Ayn Rand", Reason TV, 11 Nov 2009
    Related Topic: Ayn Rand

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nathaniel Branden" as of 30 Jun 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.