John Harder's Reviews > Letters of Ayn Rand

Letters of Ayn Rand by Ayn Rand
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's review
Aug 23, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

Letters of Ayn Rand includes only outgoing correspondence, which is like hearing only one side of a conversation. Though this is problematic this compilation offers a unique insight into objectivism. Objectivism is a difficult philosophy to live by; it demands that every circumstance and choice be viewed analytically. Emotions are fine but they must be based upon reason and as a genuine response reality. Rand’s letters show that every day and with every relationship she lived the philosophy she espoused, often going into nuanced explanations, distinguishing her views from seemingly similar philosophies.

Though she is occasionally punishingly direct with her correspondence, she also shows a warmth and generosity – but only to those who deserve it. There is no altruism even when she is lending help and advice.

This book is worth one’s time, but only if you have already read the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Without this basis you will be lost.

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