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Objectivist philosopher, novelist
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  • Ayn Rand

    Ayn Rand (born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum, 2 February [20 January O.S.] 1905 – 6 March 1982) was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. Educated in Russia, she moved to the United States in 1926. She had a play produced on Broadway in 1935 and 1936. After two early novels that were initially unsuccessful, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel, The Fountainhead. In 1957, Rand published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own periodicals and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982.

    Notable Individuals

    • Objectivist, The - Newsletter created by Ayn Rand (as The Objectivist Newsletter) in 1962 and edited by herself and Nathaniel Branden (until 1968)


    Ayn Alissa Rand (1905-1982), by Stephen R. C. Hicks, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    Major sections: Life - Rand's Ethical Theory: The Virtue of Selfishness - Reason and Ethics - Conflicts of Interest - Rand's Influence - References and Further Reading
    Ayn Rand was a major intellectual of the twentieth century. Born in Russia in 1905 and educated there, she immigrated to the United States after graduating from the university, where she studied history, politics, philosophy, and literature. Rand had always found capitalism and the individualism of the United States a welcome alternative to the corrupt and negative socialism of Russia. ... Rand's philosophy is in the Aristotelian tradition, with that tradition's emphasis upon metaphysical naturalism, empirical reason in epistemology, and self-realization in ethics.
    Ayn Rand, by Roderick T. Long, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 8 Jun 2010
    Major sections: Introduction - Ethics - Social-Political Philosophy - Aesthetics - Bibliography; last substantive revision 19 Sep 2016
    Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was a novelist-philosopher who outlined a comprehensive philosophy, including an epistemology and a theory of art, in her novels and essays. ... The Fountainhead brought Rand international fame, and Atlas Shrugged (1957) sealed this fame. By 1958, Rand's novels, increasingly philosophical, had won her ideas a sufficiently devoted following for her to form, in association with psychologist Nathaniel Branden (with whom she later broke), an official 'Objectivist' philosophical movement, complete with journals and lecture courses.
    Rand, Ayn (1905-1982), by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay, also examining Rand's relationships with several leading thinkers
    Born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg during the Russian Silver Age, Rand was inspired by the heroic ideals embodied in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and the Romantic fiction and drama of such writers as Victor Hugo, Edmond Rostand, and Friedrich Schiller ... By the time Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957, Rand had achieved worldwide fame for offering a controversial, integrated, secular defense of capitalism ... Although Rand died in 1982, her legacy lives on in many segments of the libertarian intellectual movement. That her legacy has finally sparked the interest of scholars worldwide is proof of its enduring quality.


    Ayn Rand - The Advocates
    288x358 JPEG, grayscale


    2 Feb 1905, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum, in Saint Petersburg, Russia


    6 Mar 1982, in New York City


    About Ayn Rand - Biography |
    Ayn Rand Institute
    To create her unusual stories and characters, Rand had to define the new ideas and principles that guide her heroes. She had to create a new philosophy. 'I am interested in philosophical principles,' she wrote, 'only as they affect the actual existence of men; and in men, only as they reflect philosophical principles.' For Rand, philosophy is not an esoteric subject but a daily force shaping individual lives and human history.
    Ayn Rand and Objectivism: An Introduction
    Full Context
    The founder of Objectivism, Ayn Rand (neé Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum), was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 2, 1905. Ayn Rand attended Petrograd (Leningrad) University from 1921 to 1924 in the tumultuous period following the Revolution, where she majored in history, and took a minor in philosophy. In early 1926, Ayn Rand fled the Soviet Union and arrived in New York City, during the 'Roaring Twenties.'
    Laissez Faire Books
    Russian-born Ayn Rand (1905-1982) brought more people into the libertarian movement than anybody else. She did this by making a moral case for individualism and liberty through her dramatic novels. ... Then came her first big success, The Fountainhead (1943), about a determined individualist pursuing his vision in a collectivist world. ... Rand's most philosophical novel is Atlas Shrugged (1957), which tells what happened when some of the world's most productive individuals got tired of being exploited and went on strike.

    Awards Received

    1983 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, by Libertarian Futurist Society, Prometheus Hall of Fame Award
    For Atlas Shrugged
    1987 Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, by Libertarian Futurist Society, Prometheus Hall of Fame Award
    For Anthem


    The Objectivist, Editor, January 1962-February 1976
    The Fountainhead, Screenwriter


    who was...Ayn Rand? ...a biography, 1905-1982
    Includes three biographical segments (1905-1926, 1926-1951 and 1951-1982) with photos, text of selected articles and links to other Rand-related sites

    Web Pages

    Ayn Rand - The Advocates
    Biography (from Laissez Faire Books), picture and quotes
    Rand elaborated her philosophy with brilliant essays, gathered in several books: Philosophy Who Needs It? (1962), Capitalism The Unknown Ideal (1962), The Virtue of Selfishness (1964), The Romantic Manifesto (1969), The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (1971, since reissued as Return of the Primitive) and The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought (1988).
    Great Thinkers: Ayn Rand, by Jim Powell
    Includes short introductory profile, photograph, quotes from some of Rand's books and links to other resources about her
    Born Alissa Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg, she emigrated to the United States in 1926, stayed for a while with relatives in Chicago, changed her name (taking 'Ayn' from a Finnish author, 'Rand' from her typewriter) and moved to Hollywood where she made herself a successful screenwriter. Her play Night of January 16th was performed on Broadway. Rand's first novel was We the Living (1936), about the struggle to find liberty and love in Russia. Her short book Anthem (1938) offered a bold affirmation of liberty, going beyond more famous anti-totalitarian novels like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984.
    Laissez Faire Books: Clint Bolick
    Short biographical and bibliographical profile, followed by "Clint Bolick's Favorite Titles" (commentary on his five favorite books)
    My all-time favorite book, my Bible (with apologies to Rand for the metaphor) since college, is Atlas Shrugged. This book turned me into a revolutionary. It made me realize that standing up for one's beliefs is the highest possible calling, and that choosing expediency over principle is disatrous to both. What's more, the characters and their motivations depicted by Rand in 1957 are timeless; no book ever written is keener in its insight into the quest for and consequences of excessive government power. If Rand were alive, Richard Epstein would be her favorite law professor.
    Music With An Ayn Rand Connection
    Lengthy selection of songs and other musical pieces together with short explanations of their relation to Ayn Rand and recordings (in RealAudio format), plus pictures of various New York City buildings (Rand admired the city's skyline)
    When I was in my early 20s I discovered and became an admirer of the writings of Ayn Rand - the author of the philosophically provoking best selling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. A few years later, I was amused to learn that Rand enjoyed a type of turn of the century popular music that she called 'Tiddlywink Music.' Of course, there is no such formally recognized musical genre. 'Tiddlywink' seems to have been the name that Ayn Rand gave to music that she responded to in a certain way.
    Related Topic: Music

    Video Products

    The Passion of Ayn Rand, 30 May 1999
    Showtime Entertainment movie based on Barbara Branden's book.


    35 Heroes of Freedom, by Reason, Reason, Dec 2003
    "Eclectic, irreverent" list of individuals "who have made the world a freer, better, and more libertarian place by example, invention, or action", as chosen by Reason editors (includes the unknown martyr of Tiananmen Square and "The Yuppie")
    Ayn Rand. While her private life outstripped them in terms of melodrama, there's no denying that novels such as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged introduced libertarian ideas to millions of readers in a vivid, compelling way, encouraging them to reject the cult of self-sacrifice, oppose the demands of collectivism, and question the rule of experts. In contrast to the half-hearted, pusillanimous defenses of capitalism offered by conservatives, she explained why a system of peaceful, voluntary exchange is morally right as well as efficient.
    "And the Pursuit of Happiness": Nathaniel Branden, RIP, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 12 Dec 2014
    Memorial essay, including some personal recollections, with emphasis on Branden's work on self-esteem and self-responsibility, and a preamble on the quoted phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence
    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. The Objectivist movement became an integral part of the budding libertarian movement in the late 1950s and '60s ... I did not "discover" Rand and her novels until after her break with Nathaniel and Barbara Branden. Rand's "To Whom It May Concern" (December 1968), in which she declared the break and denounced Nathaniel for fabricated financial improprieties, was my first contact with the formal Objectivist movement.
    Atlas Shrugged and the Corporate State, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 12 Oct 2007
    Explains how Ayn Ran's Atlas Shrugged properly depicted some businessmen as privilege seekers, but some of her non-fiction was mistaken about big business being a "persecuted minority"
    What sometimes goes unappreciated by readers of the novel is the extent to which Rand targeted business people as potentially the most egregious saboteurs of freedom ... Rand well understood that liberty is threatened by business owners who seek privileges from the state in order to gain protection from open competition, domestic as well as foreign ... While her fiction and some of her essays astutely describe the system generated by the businessman-as-privilege-seeker—she called it the "new fascism"—some of her nonfiction work takes another tack, lamenting "big business" as "America's persecuted minority."
    Ayn Rand (1905–1982), by Cato Institute, Mar 2003
    One of the "Three Women Who Launched a Movement" articles, celebrating during Women's History Month the 60th anniversary of the publication of The Fountainhead (as well as Rose Wilder Lane and Isabel Paterson books published in the same year)
    A week before her 21st birthday, Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum left the Soviet Union ... Officially, she had come only to visit family in Chicago—but Rosenbaum had other plans. As a girl, she had watched the Bolshevik revolution reduce her middle-class family to poverty, and was convinced that communism would destroy Russia as well. After ... several months ..., she headed to Hollywood to begin a new life under a new name: Ayn Rand. By a stroke of luck, [she] encountered ... director Cecil B. DeMille on her second day in town. He gave her work as an extra in his film King of Kings ...
    Ayn Rand & Objectivism - Tibor Machan, The Daily Objectivist
    Review of Machan's Ayn Rand
    Here's just some of what this brief yet jam-packed volume has to offer:
    • An overview of Rand's work and development.
    • The paradox of Rand's iconoclasm: deeply at odds with many modern intellectual trends, her thought is also deeply in accord with 'common sense.'
    • A is A, defended! In a riveting chapter, Machan explains Rand's often-derided concern with axioms, delving into her Aristotelian heritage. He shows how her approach to philosophy is potently shaped by allegiance to the 'primacy of existence.' TDO's brief preview of this chapter only hints at the many riches here. Superb. ...
    Related Topic: Tibor Machan
    Ayn Rand and Objectivism - Epistemology: The theory of knowledge, Full Context
    Summarises the key concepts of objectivist epistemology, contrasting them with other philosophical views
    Ayn Rand also defended a unique theory of concepts, or abstract ideas. For her, the ability to form concepts was the primary function of the faculty of reason, the possession of which is the essential difference that sets humans apart from all the other animals. Rand presented her theory of concepts as a solution to the legendary 'problem of universals,' rekindling interest in a problem that essentially died in the late medieval era.
    Related Topic: Epistemology
    Ayn Rand and Objectivism - Metaphysics: The study of the nature of reality, Full Context
    Summarises the key concepts of objectivist metaphysics
    Rand used to say that she was an 'intransigent' atheist but 'not a militant one.' Some people think that if there is no God, then life has no meaning or that there is no reason for a person to be moral. Rand dealt crushing blows to both objections. ... Rand rejected what she called the 'mind-body dichotomy.' Man, in her view, was a being of integrated body and soul. She rejected as 'mysticism' the mind-body dualism of René Descartes ...
    Related Topics: Atheism, Metaphysics
    Ayn Rand at 100, by David Boaz, 2 Feb 2005
    Discusses the influence of Ayn Rand, after the publication of her two main novels, during the 1960s through the 1980s and to this day, with sales of about half a million of her books per year
    Few writers are more popular—or more controversial—than Ayn Rand. Despite the enormous commercial success of her books, and the major influence ... on American culture, reviewers and other intellectuals have generally been hostile. They've dismissed her support for individualism and capitalism, ridiculed her "purple prose," and mocked her black-and-white morality ... Although she did not like to acknowledge debts to other thinkers, Rand's work rests squarely within the libertarian tradition, with roots going back to Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Jefferson, Paine, Bastiat, Spencer, Mill, and Mises.
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Libertarianism
    Ayn Rand - Hero of the Day, by Roy Childs, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
    Biographical profile published by The Daily Objectivist; excerpted from a review of Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand
    Ayn Rand's life was the stuff of fiction. Consider her saga: She was born in Czarist Russia, lived through the Bolshevik revolution, and vowed to go to America. Barely two years after graduating from university, she did so. In 1926 she arrived in New York City alone, with about $50 in her pocket. She spent some months with relatives in Chicago, and then made her way across the continent to Hollywood, where she worked at odd jobs—stuffing envelopes, waitressing in a diner, and running a studio wardrobe department—until she could make a financial success of her writing.
    Ayn Rand on Aristotle, by George H. Smith, 4 Mar 2016
    Examines Rand's appreciative view of Aristotle based on his epistemological theories while disregarding his comments on slavery, racism and coercive government laws
    ... according to Rand, 'Aristotle is the father of Individualism' (Letters of Ayn Rand, 17 April 1948). ... It is quite astonishing that Rand could make claims like this, while blanking out the deleterious influence of Aristotle's political ideas. ... The major culprit here was Rand's belief that a philosopher's metaphysics and especially his epistemology trump everything else, that his fundamental view of reality and his theory of knowledge will ultimately determine his influence on later thinkers.
    Branden, Nathaniel (1930-2014), by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    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). The NBI disseminated Rand's Objectivist philosophy internationally through live lectures and audiotaped courses ... his personal and professional relationship with Rand came to an end in 1968 ... Like Rand, Branden celebrates individualism and personal autonomy as foundational to human freedom.
    Related Topics: Nathaniel Branden, Society
    Chris Matthew Sciabarra - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
    Biographical profile published by The Daily Objectivist; short bibliographical essay
    What was so intimidating about Russian Radical? Some didn't like the speculative delving into the Russian intellectual context in which the young Ayn Rand was educated. Yet many of the author's conjectures have since been confirmed, now that Rand's college transcript has come to light. Also angst-producing was his characterization of Rand's method as "dialectical" ... But ... his interpretation of Rand as dialectical only articulated more fully the attentiveness to context and integration that Ayn Rand herself had many times stipulated as epistemologically crucial—hardly turning Rand on her head.
    Related Topic: Chris Matthew Sciabarra
    Crony-in-Chief: Donald Trump epitomizes Ayn Rand's "Aristocracy of Pull", by Steve Simpson, 2 Feb 2017
    Examines the issues of "cronyism" or "pull-peddling", suggesting—as Ayn Rand did—that the solution is "to limit government strictly to protecting rights and nothing more"
    The novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand ... was a passionate champion of individual freedom and laissez-faire capitalism and a fierce opponent of authoritarianism. For her, government exists solely to protect our rights, not to meddle in the economy or to direct our private lives ... Her novel Atlas Shrugged depicts a world in decline as it slowly strangles its most productive members. The novel celebrates the intelligent and creative individuals who produce wealth, many of whom are businessmen ... The claims about Rand's influence in the administration are vastly overblown.
    The Death of Politics, by Karl Hess, Playboy, Mar 1969
    Discusses libertarianism, contrasting it with both conservatism and modern liberalism, including specific policy differences
    An interesting illustration that conservatism not only disagrees with libertarianism but is downright hostile to it is that the most widely known libertarian author of the day, Miss Ayn Rand, ranks only a bit below, or slightly to the side of, Leonid Brezhnev as an object of diatribe in National Review. Specifically, it seems, she is reviled on the right because she is an atheist, daring to take exception to the National Review notion that man's basically evil nature (stemming from original sin) means he must be held in check by a strong and authoritarian social order.
    Defending the Undefendable: Walter Block, Twenty Years Later, by Walter Block, Alberto Mingardi, Laissez Faire City Times, 7 Dec 1998
    In addition to discussing Defending the Undefendable, covers issues such as entertainment, Ayn Rand, Hazlitt, the Libertarian Party and Murray Rothbard
    [How] important was Ayn Rand for you, for example, if at all?
    Ayn Rand was very important to me. Without her, I might not have been converted to libertarianism. Her book Atlas Shrugged sold millions of copies and it was a great inspirational novel ... I first met her when I was a senior in Brooklyn College in 1963, when I was 22 years old. I was a socialist then. Her follower Nathaniel Branden changed my mind on these issues by recommending two books (Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson and Rand's Atlas Shrugged) plus talking about them.
    Dialectics and Liberty, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Freeman, Sep 2005
    Written ten years after publication of the first two of Sciabarra's "Dialectic and Liberty" trilogy, discusses Hayek's and Rand's dialectical analysis approaches and suggests that such context-keeping analysis is important in radical libertarian theory
    Despite serious differences with Hayek, Ayn Rand also appreciated the role of culture in shaping political realities ... In her examination of any social problem, Rand focused on the reciprocal connections among personal factors (Level I), that is, a person's methods of awareness, or "psycho-epistemology," and ethics; cultural factors (Level II), that is, ideology, pedagogy, aesthetics, and language; and structural factors (Level III), that is, politics and economics ... Much like Hayek, Rand proclaimed herself a radical "in the proper sense of the word: 'radical' means 'fundamental.'"
    Epistemology and Politics: Ayn Rand's Cultural Commentary, by David Kelley, Navigator, Dec 2004
    Discusses the continued currency of Rand's 1960-1970s writings, citing as examples "Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World", "Racism", "The Age of Envy" and "The Anti-Industrial Revolution"
    Ayn Rand ... was also an astute observer of politics and culture. In the 1960s and 1970s ... she wrote scores of commentaries about the people, events, and trends of her time. Her periodicals The Objectivist and The Ayn Rand Letter include observations about politicians from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan. She wrote trenchant essays on issues and events: the Vietnam War, the Apollo 11 moon flight, Woodstock and Watergate, papal encyclicals and Supreme Court decisions, environmentalism, the rise of the New Left, and books by B.F. Skinner and John Rawls, to mention a few.
    Finding Atlas: Before Ayn Rand there was Isabel Paterson, by Stephen Cox, The American Conservative, 4 May 2009
    Biographical account highlighting Paterson's influence on Ayn Rand
    Among the rising generation of conservative and libertarian intellectuals whom she influenced was a young escapee from Soviet Russia, Ayn Rand. At that time, Rand was an author without an audience. An avid reader of Paterson's weekly newspaper columns, she sought the older writer's acquaintance during the dark days following the election of 1940 ...
    Related Topic: Isabel Paterson
    Free Mark Cuban and Abolish the SEC, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 19 Nov 2008
    Discusses Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mark Cuban (17 Nov 2008) insider trading case, concerning the latter's sale in June 2004 of shares in
    Here's how the slimy bureaucrat Dr. Floyd Ferris put it in Rand's Atlas Shrugged:
    "Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against — then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them ..."
    Happy Birthday Ayn Rand! February 2 Marks Birthday of Literary Atlas: Ayn Rand, by Chris Wolski, Capitalism Magazine, 2 Feb 2000
    Short biographical essay highlighting Rand's two major works
    Although she considered herself primarily a fiction writer, she realized that in order to create heroic fictional characters, she had to identify the philosophic principles which make such individuals possible. She needed to formulate 'a philosophy for living on earth.' Thereafter, Ayn Rand wrote and lectured on her philosophy — Objectivism. She published and edited her own periodicals from 1962 to 1976, her essays providing much of the material for nine books on Objectivism and its application to the culture.
    H. L. Mencken, America's Wittiest Defender of Liberty, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Sep 1995
    Biographical essay, highlighting Mencken's tenure at the Baltimore Sun, the books he authored, the founding and his work at the American Mercury monthly and his brief relationship with Sara Haardt
    Mencken inspired friends of freedom ... Mencken's stalwart individualism awed young Ayn Rand who, in 1934, called him "one whom I admire as the greatest representative of a philosophy to which I want to dedicate my whole life."
    How I Became a Liberal, by Alejandro Chafuen, 19 Dec 2003
    Part of Walter Block's autobiography series; Chafuen recalls his grandparents and parents, his youth in Argentina, and the people in Argentina and the United States who influenced him
    The Centro de Estudios Sobre la Libertad published a booklet written by Ayn Rand in defense of individualism. Since that moment, I tried to read everything she wrote. Her novels had a magnetic effect on me. Once I started reading one I could not drop it. Thanks to her writing, I began reading more philosophy ... when I asked Bettina Bien Greaves and Bob Anderson ... if they could give me her address so I could go and see her. They looked at me strangely and told me "we do not recommend doing this." I asked why. "Because you wear a moustache, and she thinks that men who have hair on their face are trying to hide something."
    How I Became a Libertarian, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, 19 Dec 2002
    Autobiographical essay describing Sciabarra's influences on his road towards libertarianism, primarily Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard
    My sister-in-law had been reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and she said, "I think you ought to read this woman ..." I wasn't a big fiction reader, so I started reading Ayn Rand's nonfiction first ... and it was as if I had found a whole new world ... Rand also helped me deal with some pretty difficult personal health problems I'd been experiencing. Here was a woman who talked about heroism and potentials rather than limitations. It was an articulated philosophy that gave me encouragement not to wallow in self-pity and dismay, but to make the most of my potentialities.
    How I Became a Libertarian and an Austrian Economist, by Richard M. Ebeling, 2 May 2016
    Autobiographical essay highlighting the people and events who influenced Ebeling in his path to libertarianism and Austrian economics
    In 1968, I was visiting ... New York City and took the opportunity to go the Nathaniel Branden Institute ..., then still headquartered in the lower level of the Empire State Building. One evening during a "social" night, Ayn Rand was there and very kindly took about a half an hour to talk informally with a small group of us. All the stories about her are true. She had dark eyes that never left looking right at you while she was both hearing your question and giving her answer. She spoke with a calm certitude and deliberate clarity that made her comments reasonable and in no way "dogmatic."
    How We Started "Liberty", by R. W. Bradford, Liberty, Sep 1992
    Reflections on the fifth anniversary of publishing Liberty
    In 1965, like so many of my generation, I fell under the spell of Ayn Rand. This infatuation opened me to genuinely radical thinking. Following the logic of Rand's political thinking more consistently than did Rand herself, I was an anarchist a year later ... Ayn Rand was, by a wide margin, the most influential thinker for most libertarians, but at this time substantial portions of her life and work remained mysterious, so the thought naturally enough occurred to me that an article illuminating part of the Rand enigma would have very wide appeal.
    In Praise of "Thick" Libertarianism, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 4 Apr 2014
    Examines "thin" and "thick" libertarianism, explaining how being noncomittal about racism undermines the principle of non-initiation of force, contrasting libertarian and progressive views on dealing with racism
    On the other hand, libertarians often quote Ayn Rand on [racism], even if they wouldn't quote her on much else:
    Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage—the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
    The Internet and the End of Monetary Sovereignty, by Bill Frezza, The Future of Money in the Information Age, 1997
    Considers how cyberspace promises of privacy and anonymity may lead to new monetary institutions and "a practical realization of laissez-faire capitalism" as advocated by Ayn Rand
    Ayn Rand, in her novel Atlas Shrugged, posed the question: "What would happen if the men of the mind—the producers and creators of wealth—went on strike?" Her allegory about the coordinated withdrawal of the industrialists and the collapse of civilization served as a dramatic backdrop for the elucidation of her moral philosophy. That philosophy ... posed two questions relevant to the issue of monetary sovereignty ... While a generation of free-market thinkers were deeply influenced by her ideas, Rand and her followers were unable to generate a practical political program.
    Interview with Barbara Branden, by Barbara Branden, Karen Minto, Full Context, Oct 1998
    Topics discussed range from her move from Los Angeles to Winnipeg and then to New Mexico, how she stopped smoking and the Showtime movie made from her book, including her impressions of Helen Mirren as Ayn Rand and Peter Fonda as Frank O'Connor
    In a way, it was like a story out of Ayn Rand's life. So many times, her career moved ahead because one single person believed in her work and fought for it. ... But Ayn once told me something that I clutched as if it were a security blanket. She said that when she sold The Fountainhead to Warner Brothers, she was extremely worried about its fate, because Warner Brothers had the legal right to make any sort of movie they wanted to. She said that what kept her sane was the knowledge that the book existed, and that no one could alter or affect it. No film studio could do anything to the book.
    Related Topic: Los Angeles
    Interview with David Kelley, by David Kelley, Raymie Stata, Full Context, Jun 1993
    Topics discussed include: the Institute for Objectivist Studies, ties between IOS and classical liberal institutions, the Objectivism movement, the split with the Ayn Rand Institute, the marketplace of ideas, open questions in philosophy, and psychology
    There's a broader movement of classical liberals in the country. Ayn Rand was one of the two or three people who had most to do with the growth of real free-market thinking. And the others, like Milton Friedman, are economists. She's the only philosopher who's had that kind of impact ... There's been a lot of alienation between Objectivists and people who are free-market oriented but not in the Objectivist movement ... And that's really too bad because a lot of those people got interested in these ideas because of Ayn Rand; they loved Atlas Shrugged and really are Objectivists in terms of basic principles.
    Interview with Nathaniel Branden, by Nathaniel Branden, Karen Reedstrom, Full Context, Sep 1996
    In two parts; topics range from David Kelley, objectivisim, Ayn Rand, his memoir Judgment Day, Barbara Branden, Leonard Peikoff, homosexuality, self-esteem and more
    Following the break with Rand, I needed to distance myself from the world of Objectivism ... But I also gained a renewed appreciation for her genius, for how much she had contributed ... she wasn't a scholar, and that made it harder for academics to grasp ... she was right far more often than she was wrong. Did she sometimes overstate her case? Yes. Could she be guilty of over-simplification? Yeah ... When, for instance, she broke with someone—say, Murray Rothbard or Edith Efron—she never could acknowledge anything good about them, not even that they were intelligent, no matter how much she might have praised their intelligence in the past.
    Isabel Paterson (1886–1961), by Cato Institute, Mar 2003
    Part of Cato's "Three Women Who Launched a Movement", celebrating during Women's History Month the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of The God of the Machine (as well as Rose Wilder Lane and Ayn Rand books published in the same year)
    During the '30s, Paterson would lead discussions with a group of young conservatives who would stay at the Herald Tribune offices late into the evenings helping to paste up the Books section. One of these was a fledgling author by the name of Ayn Rand. Paterson would later use her column to promote Rand's work, and Rand would reciprocate by recommending Paterson's books to her own acquaintances. The pair corresponded prolifically, wrangling over religion and philosophy, until they stopped speaking after a particularly ugly argument in 1948.
    Related Topic: Isabel Paterson
    Book Review: Isabel Paterson and the Ideas of America, by Wendy McElroy, 30 Mar 2005
    Review of the book Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America: The Woman and the Dynamo (2004) by University of California, San Diego professor of literature Stephen Cox
    Some readers of Stephen Cox's recently published biography ... may succumb to the same temptation I did. I immediately scanned the index for references to Ayn Rand and then I turned directly to those pages. This reflected my main purpose in reading Paterson's biography: to see what light it shed on that other and (to me) more important figure with whom Paterson had associated ... I continue to ascribe Paterson's obscurity ... to libertarianism's tendency to ignore its literary figures ... It is a strange tendency, as so many people were inspired toward radical individualism by the novels of Ayn Rand.
    Isabel Paterson's Place in History, by Doug French, 20 Jun 2011
    Review of Stephen D. Cox's The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America
    Rand studied history and philosophy in Russia, but she didn't read widely. Just who was it that provided Rand the education in the glories of free markets that most people identify her with? ... In the first third of The Fountainhead, economic ideas do not dominate. It was only in the remainder of Rand's first great success that, 'after many months of intense discussions with Paterson about political philosophy and American history and institutions, does she develop the political meaning of Roark's experience,' Cox explains.
    Joan Kennedy Taylor, by Jeff Riggenbach, 14 Jan 2011
    Biographical essay, including a review of Taylor's book Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Rediscovered; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcasts of 28 Dec 2010 and 12 Jan 2011
    That summer, through an associate who worked in publicity over at Random House, [Taylor] got hold of an advance copy of Ayn Rand's new novel, which bore the somewhat mysterious title Atlas Shrugged. "I read it over Labor Day Weekend 1957," Joan told interviewer Duncan Scott in 2004, "and I was blown away, absolutely ... I was really impressed by this—so much so that I wrote her a fan letter." ... They had lunch. They talked for hours. Then ... Rand "said that she wanted me to meet her 'children,' Nathaniel and Barbara Branden, and we set up a date when I would come to her house and meet them."
    John Hospers - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
    Biographical profile published by The Daily Objectivist; highlights of Hospers' "Memories of Ayn Rand", followed by two excerpts from his Full Context interview
    Like everybody who knew Rand, Hospers remembers the eyes: 'Those eyes (I fancied) could penetrate through walls. Her mind was so perceptive as to discern at a glance any remnant of self-excuse or rationalization. One's face must not display even one small pimple of dishonesty, especially with oneself, else the wrath of God would be tame by comparison ... It was a totally new experience for me—the systematic character of her thought, together with her childlike benevolence, the keen piercing eyes, the deep voice which could warm and freeze you by turns—and the uncompromising rigor of her argument.'
    Related Topics: John Hospers, Objectivism
    Libertarianism and the Great Divide, by Justin Raimondo, 16 Mar 2007
    Review of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism (2007) concluding with remarks about a Cato Unbound debate on the book
    [D]idn't Howard Roark, the hero of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, disclaim any loyalty to a tradition, exclaiming that perhaps he stood at the beginning of one? Libertarians have been afflicted with this born-from-the-head-of-Zeus mentality, in part due to Rand's influence ... [C]iting my biography of Rothbard to somehow prove Rothbard got his ethical theories from Rand is absurd, especially when I spent nearly a whole chapter on the Rand-Rothbard conflict over the question of whether the founder of "Objectivism" did indeed "discover" ethical egoism. (Short answer: no.)
    Libertarianism Is Not Atheist, Is Not Religious, by Wendy McElroy, The Daily Bell, 9 Oct 2014
    Examines Rothbard's views in a 1987 article about freedom and religion, in particular regarding Ayn Rand's atheistic influences on early modern libertarianism
    The 1950s were pivotal because of Ayn Rand's profound influence on the broadly-defined individualist movement from which many libertarians emerged ... Rand was adamantly atheistic. She believed all men of reason and self-esteem must reject God. In her book of essays For The New Intellectual, Rand stated: "Man's mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God ... The purpose of man's life ... is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question." She did not willingly tolerate the presence of believers.
    A Libertarian Odyssey, by Ken Schoolland
    Part of Walter Block's autobiography series; reprinted in Walter Block's I Chose Liberty (2010), chapter 66
    After studying in France ... I got hooked on novels by by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (The First Circle) and Ayn Rand (We the Living and Atlas Shrugged). Rand's philosophy clicked with me. She provided invaluable perspective on human motivations. Ironically, it was about the same time I landed a position as an international economist in the U.S. Tariff Commission. It was thoroughly demoralizing employment–never honest work. Rather than to produce valuable goods and services, I merely got in the way of those who did. It was the perfect validation of Rand's assertions about politics and the bureaucracy.
    The Libertarians' Albatross, by Butler Shaffer, 3 Nov 2004
    Recounts Shaffer's introduction to objectivism and provides critical analysis of the philosophy's shortcomings, highlighting Objectivists support of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and the "war on terror" and disregard of innocent casualties
    Rand insisted upon obedience to her every pronouncement ... Had she confined her life's work to writing novels–with their important messages about the role of the individual in collective societies–her work would have had a far greater impact on the cause of liberty. Men and women could then have incorporated her fictional accounts into their own experiences, and used both to synthesize a powerful personal philosophy. But Rand insisted on putting together an abstract philosophic system–cobbled together from varied sources–which she declared to be objectively "true" principles.
    Libertarian Thoughts Reborn, by John Hospers, 23 Aug 2003
    Part of Walter Block's autobiography series; starts off with his grandparents, early life in Iowa, skepticism, astronomy, teaching at Columbia University and University of Minnesota, interacting with Ayn Rand, the 1972 LP nomination and parting thoughts
    She gave a talk at Brooklyn College in 1960, on "Faith and Force: the Destroyers of the Modern World" ... after which I asked her to lunch. She said she could spare an hour for me – but more than four hours later we were still sitting there immersed in philosophical conversation ... Ayn condemned all existing governments as intrusive, as restricting people's freedom and violating their rights. But she didn't find them all equally intrusive. She thought highly of the America envisioned by the founders, minus the slavery ... I offered criticisms on her new paper ... But apparently she thought I had betrayed her.
    The life and times of Murray N. Rothbard, by Jim Powell
    Full title: The life and times of Murray N. Rothbard, who showed why private individuals can do just about everything that needs to be done
    Lengthy biographical essay
    Around 1954, Rothbard met ... Ayn Rand who was working on her philosophical novel Atlas Shrugged. He was among those invited to her 36 East 36th Street apartment where completed portions of the novel were read. "Murray Rothbard once told me," reported ... Roy Childs, "that it was Ayn Rand who converted him to natural rights. He had been a utilitarian as was ... Mises, the greatest intellectual influence on his life ..." ... Rand and Rothbard must have had many mutually stimulating discussions, but she didn't share his view that the world would be better off without government compulsion.
    Ludwig von Mises, socialism's greatest enemy, by Jim Powell, 2000
    Lengthy biographical essay on Mises, including details on Menger and Böhm-Bawerk; alternate version of "Planned Chaos" chapter of The Triumph of Liberty (2000)
    During the early 1950s, ... Henry Hazlitt wrote, Mises and novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand were at his house for dinner. Rand snapped at one of Mises' comments, saying "You seem to regard me as just a little Jewish girl who doesn't know anything." "Lu didn't mean it that way," Hazlitt said. "I did mean it that way!" Mises replied. Mises came to admire Rand, calling her "the most courageous man in America." Hazlitt told Rand about the remark, and she was delighted ... Barbara Branden reported that "... Ayn began a concerted campaign to have his [Mises'] work read and appreciated ..."
    Movie Review: The Incredibles, by Wendy McElroy, 2 Apr 2005
    Review of The Incredibles, including commentary from other media and some of its Objectivist influences
    Is the movie's aggressive defense of excellence derived from Ayn Rand and her novels? ... Syndrome is a classic example of the "second-hander" Rand describes so well in her novel The Fountainhead – a person who lives through the opinions of others rather than his own accomplishments. ... A costume designer to superheroes, Edna appears to be a rollicking cross between Edith Head and Ayn Rand. (Remember that Rand began work at RKO studios in the wardrobe department.) With an accent swinging vaguely between German and Russian, Edna delivers attitude as she waves a long-stem cigarette holder through the air.
    Related Topics: Objectivism, The Incredibles
    My Life as a Libertarian, by D. T. Armentano, 21 Jul 2003
    Lengthy autobiographical essay, describing among other things, how he took an interest in antitrust policy and wrote several books and articles on the subject, and his disappointment when attempting to stop Connecticut from imposing a state income tax
    One day when I went to get paid, Jack [Harris]'s wife said "Hold on. I want to give you a book to read that Jack treasures and that I think that you will enjoy." And then ... she handed me a hardcover of Ayn Rand's, The Fountainhead. Everything that I had always felt intuitively about life I now found explicitly detailed in Rand's wonderfully romantic fiction. Jack and I never spoke about the ideas in that book. I'm not even sure that he could have articulated them. But he lived them (from what I could tell) and those ideas and Jack's real life example made a lasting impression on me.
    Nozick, Robert (1938-2002), by Ellen Frankel Paul, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    Prior to Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Nozick had published two papers in political philosophy, one on "Coercion" and another, for which he was best known in libertarian circles, "On the Randian Argument," in which he discussed Ayn Rand's moral argument for natural rights, the bedrock of her defense of capitalism. Although he shared Rand's support for free markets as well as her commitment to grounding capitalism on natural rights rather than utility or a social contract, he argued that Rand's derivation of natural rights was flawed.
    Objectivism and the State: An Open Letter to Ayn Rand, by Roy A. Childs, Jr., The Rational Individualist, Aug 1969
    Published by the Society for Rational Individualism (later merged into the Society for Individual Liberty); responds to five of Rand's arguments in her essay "The Nature of Government"
    The purpose of this letter is to convert you to free market anarchism. As far as I can determine, no one has ever pointed out to you in detail the errors in your political philosophy ... Finally, I want to take up major question: why should you adopt free market anarchism after having endorsed the political state for so many years? Fundamentally, for the same reason you gave for withdrawing your sanction from Nathaniel Branden in an issue of The Objectivist: namely, you do not fake reality and never have ... Let us walk forward into the sunlight, Miss Rand. You belong with us.
    Objectivism as a Religion: Part One: Philosophical Passion, by George H. Smith, The Daily Objectivist, 30 Mar 2000
    First of six excerpts, previously published in Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies (1991); an even earlier version appeared in Invictus in 1972
    Many philosophers have challenged religion's virtual monopoly on ethics, but few of them have influenced popular culture. Ayn Rand is a striking exception. Her readers number in the millions, making her one of the most influential atheistic philosophers of this century. ... Ayn Rand ... was an academic pariah who cared little for academic etiquette. Acerbic and arrogant, she rarely footnoted or quoted anyone except herself. This attitude sometimes got the better of her, as when she based her critique of A Theory of Justice by John Rawls on a review published in The New York Times Book Review, rather than on the book itself.
    Related Topic: Objectivism
    On Autobiography, by Walter Block, 4 Dec 2002
    Autobiographical, recounts how Block met Ayn Rand and later Murray Rothbard and how he progressed from libertarian minarchism to anarcho-capitalism; reprinted in Block's I Chose Liberty (2010), chapter 9
    In 1963, when I was a senior at Brooklyn College, Ayn Rand came there to give a lecture. I attended, along with about 3,000 of my fellow mainly leftish students, in order to boo and hiss her, since she was evil incarnate ... [T]here was to be a luncheon in her honor ... [T]he group was sitting in "pecking order": Ayn Rand at the head of the table, Nathaniel Branden and Leonard Peikoff, first along the two sides ... [Branden and I] spoke ... four or five times ... at his apartment, where some of the other Randians took part, including Ayn, Leonard Piekoff, Barbara Branden and Alan Greenspan.
    The Power of Persuasion, by Jeff Riggenbach, Mises Daily, 20 May 2011
    Historical account of the Persuasion magazine, edited by Joan Kennedy Taylor between Sept 1964 and May 1968
    The very fact that there could be such a second conference at all—that the Metropolitan Young Republican Club and Persuasion magazine should have had sufficient resources at their disposal to take their message on the road and bring it to an entirely different audience 3,000 miles away—is testimony to the power of Ayn Rand's influence at this time. For Persuasion's circulation, and the money that circulation brought in and the contacts that circulation created with people of means who might like to contribute to a worthy political cause, was largely the creation of Ayn Rand.
    Reading the Literature of Liberty, by Roy A. Childs, Jr., May 1987
    Childs' selection of "great books" on liberty and libertarianism, including works by Hazlitt, Bastiat, Rose Wilder Lane, Nock, Ayn Rand, Friedman, Hayek, Rothbard, Mises and Nozick
    The next step must certainly be Ayn Rand's monumental novel, Atlas Shrugged. There has been a strong revival of interest in Rand's work since her death in 1982, particularly following the publication of Barbara Branden's superb biography The Passion of Ayn Rand last year. In reviewing [it] for the Washington Post, George Gilder wrote that "Atlas Shrugged is the most important novel of ideas since War and Peace," and noted that Rand had "flung her gigantic books into the teeth of an intelligentsia still intoxicated with state power" back in 1957 when Atlas was first published.
    ripensare il femminismo/.1 Intervista a Wendy McElroy, by Wendy McElroy, Marco Faraci, 8 Mar 2012
    "Rethinking feminism", an interview with Wendy McElroy in Italian; topics include differences between individualist and traditional feminism, the market vs. the state, gender feminism in the North America and quotas and affirmative action
    Non è solo un rischio. E' inevitabile che qualcuno rigetti il femminismo individualista a causa della parola "femminismo". L'ho verificato spesso. Tuttavia vado avanti per una serie di ragioni. ... In secondo luogo, mi piace fare parte della tradizione che risale al liberalismo classico di Mary Wollstonecraft. E poi, sono testarda. Ayn Rand era solita usare parole come "egoista" in un senso positivo, perché non le voleva lasciarle ai propri oppositori ideologici. Non che mi voglia comparare alla Rand, ma in quanto a testardaggine le assomiglio.
    Related Topics: Achievement, Property Rights
    Rose Wilder Lane (1886–1968), by Cato Institute, Mar 2003
    Part of Cato's "Three Women Who Launched a Movement", celebrating during Women's History Month the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of The Discovery of Freedom (as well as Isabel Paterson and Ayn Rand books published in the same year)
    Rose's writing reflected her growing concern with government encroachment on individual liberties ... In 1945, [Rose Wilder Lane] began writing for the National Economic Council's Review of Books. A correspondence with Ayn Rand that lasted several years began when Rand sent Lane a letter of thanks for her favorable review of The Fountainhead in that publication.
    Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and Ayn Rand: Three Women Who Inspired the Modern Libertarian Movement, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, May 1996
    Triple biographical essay on the women who in 1943 published The Discovery of Freedom, The God of the Machine and The Fountainhead
    [Alissa] was precocious. After school, she studied French and German at home. Inspired by a magazine serial, she began writing stories, and at nine years old she resolved to become a writer ... The Russian Revolution spurred young Alissa to invent stories about heroic individuals battling kings or Communist dictators ... In 1925, the Rosenbaums received a letter from relatives who had emigrated to Chicago ... Alissa expressed a burning desire to see America. The relatives agreed to pay her passage and be financially responsible for her. Miraculously, Soviet officials granted her a passport for a six months' visit.
    The Story of Roy A. Childs Jr. (1949–1992), by Jeff Riggenbach, 21 Jan 2011
    Biographical essay; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 12 Jan 2011
    Rothbard was something of an admirer of Ayn Rand — within limits. He first met her in the early 1950s, when she moved back to New York from Hollywood after writing the screen adaptation of her novel, The Fountainhead ... when Atlas Shrugged "shot to the top of the best-seller lists" in the fall of 1957, Rothbard had to sit up and take notice. This was, he thought, a "dramatic breakthrough for the mass dissemination of libertarian ideas" — "a book, albeit a novel, explicitly advocating laissez-faire capitalism and the centrality of private property as the basic organizing principle of a free society."
    Szasz on the Liberal Tradition, by David Gordon, The Mises Review, Sep 2004
    Review of Szasz' book Faith in Freedom: Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices, highlighting his criticisms of J.S. Mill, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard and Nozick
    I shall leave it to readers of the book to discover for themselves the details of Szasz's discussion of Ayn Rand. Suffice it to say that he praises her skeptical attitude toward psychoanalysis but finds flaws in her character. These are as nothing compared to what he has to say about Rand's one time disciple and later bitter foe, Nathaniel Branden. I commend his chapter on Branden to all admirers of negative criticism.
    Tax Cuts Are Unfair? It Just Ain't So!, by David Kelley, The Freeman, Jul 1999
    Discusses Republican proposals for a 10% cut in income-tax rates, countering arguments made by opponents
    An economy is not a competitive scramble for shares of a fixed pool ..., but a process of cooperation in producing wealth on an ever-increasing scale. And those at the bottom benefit the most ... They are able to enjoy a standard of living made possible by those who created the industries they work in and the products they buy. As Ayn Rand observed, there's a pyramid of ability in which benefits flow downward, from the most to the least able. "When you work in a modern factory, you are paid, not only for your labor, but for all the productive genius which has made that factory possible" ...
    Related Topics: Entrepreneurship, Taxation
    Vince Miller and the International Libertarian Movement, by Jeff Riggenbach, 1 Jul 2010
    Biographical essay; including background information on the libertarian movement of the 20th century; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 23 June 2010
    [Isabel] Paterson [(born in 1886)] was teacher to Ayn Rand (born 1905) ... Ayn Rand, the youngest of the founding group, was 38 years old when her individualist novel, The Fountainhead, became one of the founding documents of the new libertarian movement ... The libertarian movement ... grew gradually through the 1950s and early 1960s ... [with, among others,] the Nathaniel Branden Institute, with its courses on the philosophy of Ayn Rand ... [Bruce Evoy] gave Vince a copy of The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand; then, once it had worked its predictable magic, he began integrating Vince into his various libertarian projects.
    What Social Animals Owe to Each Other, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 18 Apr 2014
    Delves into the meaning and justification for the non-aggression principle, with insights from Roderick Long's "Reason and Value: Aristotle versus Rand"
    Long shows that [Ayn] Rand's explicit writings on ethics are a tangle of at least three different and inconsistent defenses for the nonaggression principle (one of them Kantian—how's that for irony?) ... Long shows that Rand has both instrumental and constitutive elements in her nonfiction writing on ethics; in some places she says a person's goal should be survival, while in other places she speaks of survival "qua man." It isn't entirely clear whether individuals should aim at the longest possible life regardless of the type of life or at a particular type of life regardless of its length.
    Who Is Garet Garrett?, by Jeffrey Tucker, Mises Daily, 25 Oct 2007
    Biographical and bibliographical essay, including both his novels and non-fiction writing
    The Driver (1922), an exciting book that heralds capitalist accomplishment, tells the story of a Wall Street financier, Henry Galt, a shadowy figure who stays out of the limelight as much as possible until he unleashes a plan that had been years in the making: he uses his extraordinary entrepreneurial talent to acquire control of a failing railroad ... A recurring literary motif through the book has people asking, "Who is Henry Galt?" The shades of Ayn Rand here are obvious and some writers have speculated that she borrowed Garrett's literary motif, which may or may not be true.
    Winning the Battle for Freedom and Prosperity, by John Mackey, Liberty, Jun 2006
    Updated from speech given at FreedomFest 2004; after a brief background on himself, Mackey criticizes the freedom movement from a marketing and branding perspective and suggests a different approach by de-emphasizing some issues and prioritizing others
    How many of you have read Ayn Rand? How many of you have been influenced by her? "Atlas Shrugged" remains one of the five greatest novels I have ever read. Who can ever forget characters like Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, Francisco d'Anconia, from "Atlas Shrugged," as well as Howard Roark in "The Fountainhead"? These characters all demonstrated tremendous passions and drive, backed by high self-esteem ... However, despite her literary greatness and many positive contributions to the freedom movement, I believe that Rand has also harmed the movement. How? She was overly provocative.


    Francisco's Money Speech, Atlas Shrugged, 1957
    Francisco d'Anconia's speech responding to the claim that "money is the root of all evil"; from part 2, chapter II, "The Aristocracy of Pull", pp. 387-391
    Rearden heard Bertram Scudder, outside the group, say to a girl who made some sound of indignation, "Don't let him disturb you. You know, money is the root of all evil—and he's the typical product of money." Rearden did not think that Francisco could have heard it, but he saw Francisco turning ... "Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns—or dollars. Take your choice—there is no other—and your time is running out."
    Related Topic: Money


    Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by David Gordon, The Mises Review, Dec 2007
    Critical and (self-admittedly) "unfair review" of Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism (2007)
    [Doherty] stresses the influence of Ayn Rand's ethics on Rothbard. In doing so, he misses a major difference between their views. Like Rand, Rothbard's ethical theory is Aristotelian: the good is what enables man ... to flourish. But Rand goes beyond this to adopt an egoistic standpoint: I ought to act according to what is good for me ... [A]n Aristotelian standpoint that stresses the virtues does not commit one to egoism. Tara Smith, an Objectivist philosopher, in her excellent Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics, ... notes that moral philosophers ... nevertheless distance themselves from egoism.


    An Interview with Ayn Rand, by Ayn Rand, James V. McConnell, 1961
    Presented by C-SPAN American Writers II program on 15 May 2002; original interview was part of the "Understanding Our World" series produced by the University of Michigan
    Playboy Interview: Ayn Rand, by Ayn Rand, Alvin Toffler, Playboy, Mar 1964
    Topics discussed include objectivism ethics, guilt, having a productive or creative purpose, emotions, women and family, romantic love, sex, marriage, religion, compassion, other writers, government, various politicians and altruism
    Ayn Rand, an intense, angry young woman of 58, is among the most outspoken – and important – intellectual voices in America today. She is the author of what is perhaps the most fiercely damned and admired best seller of the decade: Atlas Shrugged, which has sold 1,200,000 copies since its publication six years ago, and has become one of the most talked-about novels in the country. ... And sales of her previous best seller, The Fountainhead, have climbed to almost the 2,000,000 mark.


    Best of Both Worlds: An Interview with Milton Friedman, by Milton Friedman, Brian Doherty, Reason, Jun 1995
    Topics discussed include: the new Congress, flat taxes, the withholding tax, the people who influenced him, what led him to write about policy issues, libertarianism and how his political views have changed over the years
    Friedman: ... Ayn Rand had no use for the past. She was going to invent the world anew. She was an utterly intolerant and dogmatic person who did a great deal of good. But I could never feel comfortable with her. I don't mean with her personally—I never met her personally. I'm only talking about her writings ...
    Reason: ... You say you never met Rand ...
    Friedman: ... I think she was a fascinating woman and had a great influence. As I always have said, she had an extremely good influence on all those who did not become Randians. But if they became Randians, they were hopeless.
    Faculty Spotlight Interview: Walter Block: Walter Block, by Walter Block, 18 Jan 2010
    Asks Block about his hobbies, greatest inspiration, the impact of his work and more
    Do you have any hobbies?
    ... But, most often, I play this solitary card game as an aid to writing: when the "flow" just isn't there ... Ayn Rand, I think, did this sort of thing when she had writer's block. Hey, I've known Ayn Rand, I'm no Ayn Rand, but, if she can play solitaire, I can do it too ...
    What is your favorite literary work?
    My favorite literary work is Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. The first time I read it, I was 22 years old. I literally couldn't put it down, it so floored me. I hardly slept the entire weekend it took me to read this book. Ever since then, I have reread Atlas every ten years or so ...
    Interview with Chris Matthew Sciabarra, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Peter Jaworski, 22 Apr 2002
    Topics discussed include: Ayn Rand as a dialectical thinker, dialectics (context-keeping), Murray Rothbard, Russia, Mauritania, Rand's feminism, the future of Objectivism and Sciabarra's 2001 cyberseminar "Dialectics and Liberty"
    Ayn Rand would have your head — you argue that she was influenced by dialectical thinkers like Hegel and Marx. Given her distaste of both, can you explain this position?
    The influence is actually indirect ... dialectics is, quite simply, the art of context-keeping. It is a technique of thinking that attempts to grasp the full context of a philosophic or social problem. It was pioneered by the pre-Socratics and Plato, but its theoretical principles and techniques were first enunciated by ... Aristotle. Insofar as Hegel and Marx elaborated on and practiced these principles, they learned much from Aristotle. As did Rand.
    Interview with John Hospers, by John Hospers, Karen Minto, Full Context, May 1998
    Topics discussed include: intellectual influences, respected philosophers, determinism, David Kelley, Ayn Rand, philosophy and Objectivism in universities, the Sense of Life documentary and Atlas Shrugged
    Q: What is the most profound thing that Rand got right in basic philosophy?
    Hospers: Several things ... That reality is there independently of us. That it cannot both be X and not-X at the same time in the same respect; that ideas can change the world, for better or for worse ... "All great minds run in the same channel," it has been said—and while this isn't true, more Randians should realize that other minds than Ayn Rand's have had some of her most important ideas. The whole structure—the integrated system—is unique to her, but many of the ingredients have been created by others ...
    An Interview with Robert Nozick, by Robert Nozick, Julian Sanchez, 26 Jul 2001
    Topics discussed include: ethics, science and philosophy, Karl Popper and the scientific method, Ayn Rand and epistemology, consciousness, relativism and the academic left, and Nozick himself
    RN: ... That question about cognitive capacity connects up with one segment of the libertarian movement: that influenced greatly by Ayn Rand ... The followers of Rand, for example, treat "A is A" not just as "everything is identical to itself" but as a kind of statement about essences and the limits of things. "A is A, and it can't be anything else, and once it's A today, it can't change its spots tomorrow." Now, that doesn't follow. I mean, from the law of identity, nothing follows about limitations on change. The weather is identical to itself but it's changing all the time.
    Interview with Robert Poole, by Robert W. Poole, Jr., Karen Minto, William Minto, Full Context, May 1999
    Topics discussed range from Poole's early influences, Ayn Rand, getting interested in policy analysis, the Goldwater campaign, the LP, Reason Foundation, the professionals who helped him the most and his passion for privatization
    Poole: Several of my friends in high school were Rand fans, but I resisted reading the books for fear that they would subvert my religious beliefs (as they later did!) ... Most of the key people in both groups (which mostly overlapped) were Objectivists, and I kept getting into discussions of Rand's ideas without having read the books. So in the summer of 1964, while working for the phone company during the day and doing door-to-door Goldwater canvassing at night, I devoured Atlas Shrugged—and the rest is history
    ... Reading Rand turned me from being a conservative into being a libertarian ...
    Interview with the Vamp: Why Camille Paglia hates affirmative action, defends Rush Limbaugh, and respects Ayn Rand, by Camille Paglia, Virginia Postrel, Reason, Aug 1995
    Topics discussed include: NOW, affirmative action, the Clintons, libertarianism, capitalism, academic administrators, conservatives, Rush Limbaugh, television, Christina Hoff Sommers vs. Naomi Wolf, institutions, homosexuality, nostalgia and Ayn Rand
    Paglia: Ayn Rand was an enormous figure for people who were intellectuals in college in the mid-'50s and late '50s. I entered college in '64, so I never heard her name in college. She was just gone. I never read Ayn Rand until people started to compare me to her ... And I was struck. I could see what the parallels are. That is, she was influenced by many of the same works that I was. She was reading Romantic thinkers and Nietzsche ... At the same time, I saw the differences. First of all, she's ... a radical individualist as I am, but she is very—like Simone de Beauvoir—contemptuous of religion.
    Lindsay Perigo Interviews Barbara Branden, by Barbara Branden, Lindsay Perigo, 17 Apr 2002
    Branden answers questions about New Zealand and her then forthcoming visit, the 11 Sep 2001 attacks, Ayn Rand, objectivism and factionalism within the objectivist movement
    [Branden:] There are constant references to [objectivism] and to Ayn Rand in the popular press ... What's interesting is that one or more of her books often is referred to without explanation, such as: "This is reminiscent of Atlas Shrugged", or "Howard Roark would have hated this building", etc.. It is expected that the readers will be familiar with the books and the characters. In a television series, a character is shown reading The Fountainhead. In several other series, her name and her ideas are casually mentioned, again on the assumption that the viewers will know her work.
    Walk for Capitalism: An Interview with Prodos, The Gypsy King of Capitalism, by Vince Miller, Freedom Network News, Sep 2001
    Topics include Prodos' background and philosophy of life, his influences, the Walk for Capitalism and his future plans
    Vince: Was there any particular writer (or writers) who inspired you?
    Prodos: Surely you can't mean Ayn Rand??? The other writer who has most influenced me is Edward de Bono, the inventor of "lateral thinking". Other writers include: The American Founding Fathers, Ayn Rand (did I already mention her?), Ludwig Von Mises, Frédéric Bastiat, Nevil Shute (a novelist with a wonderful sense of life), all sorts of science-fiction writers, and Ayn Rand ... And this list wouldn't be complete if I didn't also include the arch defender of Capitalism, Reason, and Happiness, a lady by the name of Ayn Rand.
    Related Topic: Capitalism
    Wendy McElroy on Sex, Rape and Libertarian Feminism, by Wendy McElroy, Anthony Wile, 11 Mar 2012
    Topics discussed include McElroy's early life, two of her notable books, individualist anarchism, voluntarism, conspiracy theories, religions, banks and money, feminism, capitalism, Austrian economics, Julian Assange and the future
    Wendy McElroy: ... I read Ayn Rand when I was 15 years old, beginning with the novel We, The Living. I then consumed everything I could find by Rand, identifying myself as an Objectivist. In some ways, I remain an Objectivist. I still agree with Rand's metaphysics, epistemology, economics and much of her politics. I disagree with her acceptance of a limited government, with some of her ethical positions (especially on sex) and with her aesthetics.


    The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies
    Twice yearly (usually, July and December); co-founded by Chris Matthew Sciabarra


    Atheism, Ayn Rand, and Other Heresies
        by George H. Smith, Apr 1991
    Partial contents: The Meaning of Heresy - My Path to Atheism - Atheism and the Virtue of Reasonableness - Defining Atheism - Atheism and Objectivism - Ayn Rand: Philosophy and Controversy - The Righteous Persecution of Drug Consumers and Other Heretics
    Related Topic: Atheism
    Ayn Rand
        by Tibor Machan, 1 Mar 2000
    Contents: Ayn Rand, Iconoclast - Intellectual Iconoclast - Rand on Axiomatic Concepts - Rand's Moral Philosophy - Rand's Rational Individualism - Rand versus Marx - Rand's Moriarty - Room for Work
    Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life
        by Michael Paxton, 1998
    Companion book to the Academy Award-nominated documentary
    Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical
        by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, 1995
    Partial contents: One: The Process of Becoming - Synthesis in Russian Culture - Lossky, the Teacher - Educating Alissa - The Maturation of Ayn Rand - Two: The Revolt Against Dualism - Being - Knowing - Reason and Emotion - Art, Philosophy, and Efficacy
    Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation
        by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, 2003
    Contents: Ayn Rand on Homosexuality - Post-Randians on Homosexuality - The Horror File - The Times They Are A Changin' - Male Bonding in the Randian Novel - Reconsidering Ayn Rand's Views on Homosexuality - Toward a New Model for Gay—and Human—Liberation
    The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z
        by Harry Binswanger (editor), 1986
    Covers about 400 topics, organized alphabetically, with excerpts of Rand's writings on the relevant topic, annotated to the original sources
    Related Topic: Objectivism
    The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism
        by David Kelley, 1990
    Partial contents: Moral Judgment - Cognition and Evaluation - Types of Moral Judgment - The Temperament of a Judge - Sanction - Existential Aid and Moral Sanction - The Case of Libertarianism - Error and Evil - Ideas and Original Sin
    Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand
        by Chris Matthew Sciabarra (Editor, Introduction), 1999
    Collection of 19 essays, edited by Mimi Reisel Gladstein and Chris Matthew Sciabarra, including essays by Barbara Branden, Nathaniel Branden, Susan Brownmiller, Gladstein, Wendy McElroy, Camille Paglia, Sharon Presley, Joan Kennedy Taylor and Judith Wilt
    Journals of Ayn Rand
        by David Harriman (editor), Leonard Peikoff (foreword), 1997
    Partial contents: Early Projects: The Hollywood Years - We the Living - The Fountainhead: Theme and Characters - Transition Between Novels: The Moral Basis of Individualism - Top Secret - Atlas Shrugged: The Mind on Strike - Final Years: Notes: 1955-1977
    Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand
        by Nathaniel Branden, 1989
    1999 edition is titled My Years with Ayn Rand
    Letters of Ayn Rand
        by Michael S. Berliner (editor), Leonard Peikoff (introduction), 1995
    Partial contents: Arrival in America to We The Living - We The Living to The Fountainhead - Letters to Frank Lloyd Wright - Return to Hollywood - Letters to Isabel Paterson - The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged years
    Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand
        by Leonard Peikoff, 1991
    Contents: Preface - Reality - Sense Perception and Volition - Concept-Formation - Objectivity - Reason - Man - The Good - Virtue - Happiness - Government - Capitalism - Art - Epilogue: The Duel Between Plato and Aristotle
    Related Topic: Objectivism
    The Passion of Ayn Rand
        by Barbara Branden, 1986
    Contents: Prologue - We The Living - The Fountainhead - Atlas Shrugged - Denouement - Epilogue; basis for the 1999 film starring Helen Mirren

    Books Authored

    Anthem, 1946
    Twelve numbered chapters; awarded the 1987 Libertarian Futurist Society Hall of Fame Award
    The Art of Nonfiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers, 2001
    Partial contents: Preliminary Remarks - Choosing a Subject and Theme - Judging One's Audience - Applying Philosophy Without Preaching It - Creating an Outline - Writing the Draft: The Primacy of the Subconscious - Editing - Style - Writing a Book
    Atlas Shrugged
        by Edward Herrmann (Reader - Audio CD/Cassette), Ayn Rand, 1957
    Partial contents: 1: Non-Contradiction - The Exploiters and the Exploited - The John Galt Line - 2: Either-Or - The Man Who Belonged on Earth - The Aristocracy of Pull - The Sanction of the Victim - 3: A is A - Anti-Life - "This is John Galt Speaking"
    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
    The Fountainhead, 1943
    Contents: Part One: Peter Keating (15 numbered chapters) - Part Two: Ellsworth M. Toohey (15 chapters) - Part Three: Gail Wynand (9 chapters) - Part Four: Howard Roark (20 chapters)
    Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 1967
    Contents: Cognition and Measurement - Concept-Formation - Abstraction from Abstractions - Concepts of Consciousness - Definitions - Axiomatic Concepts - The Cognitive Role of Concepts - Consciousness and Identity
    Related Topic: Epistemology
    The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, 1971
    Partial contents: The Cashing-In: The Student "Rebellion" - Apollo and Dionysus - The Left: Old and New - From a Symposium - Political "Crimes" - The Chicken's Homecoming - The "Inexplicable Personal Alchemy" - The Anti-Industrial Revolution
    The Objectivism Research CD ROM: The Works of Ayn Rand
        by Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand, 2001
    Partial contents: Anthem - We The Living - The Fountainhead - Atlas Shrugged - The Objectivist - The Objectivist Newsletter - The Virtue of Selfishness - For the New Intellectual - Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal - The New Left - The Romantic Manifesto
    Related Topic: Objectivism
    Philosophy: Who Needs It, 1982
    Partial contents: Philosophical Detection - The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made - The Missing Link - Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World - Kant Versus Sullivan - Causality Versus Duty - Egalitarianism and Inflation - What Can one Do?
    Related Topic: Philosophy
    Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, 1999
    Partial contents: The Schools - The Cashing-In: The Student "Rebellion" - The Chicken's Homecoming - The Comprachicos - The Culture - Apollo and Dionysus - The Age of Envy - The Politics - The Left: Old and New - Racism - The Anti-Industrial Revolution
    The Romantic Manifesto: A Philosophy of Literature, 1969
    Partial contents: The Psycho-Epistemology of Art - Philosophy and Sense of Life - Art and Sense of Life - Art and Cognition - Basic Principles of Literature - What is Romanticism? - The Esthetic Vacuum of Our Age - Bootleg Romanticism
    Related Topic: Esthetics
    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
    The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought, 1988
    Partial contents: One: Philosophy - Introducing Objectivism - To Young Scientists - Two: Culture - The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age - Our Cultural Value-Deprivation - Three: Politics - Representation Without Authorization - The Pull Peddlers
    Related Topic: Objectivism
    We The Living, 1936
    Rand's first novel, released in 1936 and then revised in 1959; takes place in Russia after the 1917 Revolution


    Memoirs of Hayek in Chicago and Rothbard in New York, by Ralph Raico, 1 Aug 2005
    Lecture given at Mises University 2005, Raico reminisces about Murray Rothbard, the forming of the Circle Bastiat, Ayn Rand, F.A. Hayek and many others in the 1950s and early 1960s


    C-SPAN American Writers II: Writings of Ayn Rand, 17 May 2002
    Guests: Eric Daniels, professor of political history, Duke University; Jeff Britting, producer of Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life; Leonard Peikoff, author of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand; includes clips of Rand herself

    Karl Hess compares Emma Goldman and Ayn Rand, by Karl Hess, Anarchism in America
    Hess describes his experience reading Emma Goldman and how Goldman, "consciously or not, [was] the source of the best in Ayn Rand"

    Leonard Liggio on the Rise of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Leonard Liggio, 9 Mar 1995
    Talk given at Vienna Coffee Club (Future of Freedom Foundation). Liggio starts off with the New Deal and covers many events and individuals both at the core and the periphery of the modern libertarian movement

    Nathaniel Branden on "My Years With Ayn Rand", by Nathaniel Branden, Reason TV, 11 Nov 2009
    Topics include a new generation discovering Ayn Rand, Objectivism, emotions, the "Collective", telling Rand about the possible benefits of marijuana, discovering the word "libertarian" and arguing with her about conservatism and her emphasis on capitalism
    Schools of Thought in Classical Liberalism, Part 5: Natural Rights, by Nigel Ashford, 9 May 2012
    Short video, with transcript; discusses the answers to the question "What is the proper role of government?" from the viewpoint of Ayn Rand and Robert Nozick
    Ayn Rand is associated with what she called objectivism. She believed that there was an objective reality and an objective morality, that we can discover reality and morality by the use of reason. We know that it is in the nature of man to want to live, to want to survive. In order for people to live, ... to survive, they have to have certain natural rights. They are necessary to exist. So we know that natural rights exist because they arise from man's nature. This is called a teleological explanation, that is, natural rights exist for the goal or purpose of human beings.
    Related Topics: Robert Nozick, Rights

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ayn Rand" as of 19 Jul 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.