Cheryl's Reviews > Ayn Rand and the World She Made

Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C. Heller
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Mar 10, 2010

really liked it

Long text. Well written.

Saying that, it is difficult, at least personally. I had always admired Ayn Rand's books and the objectivist philosophy. I still do. This is a biography describing how Rand's life impacted her writing and her psychology.

As to her books, I want to go back and reread them.

As to her as a person, she is stubborn and mean spirited. She rants about the Soviets, loves America, and believes that all of her followers must abide by all her opinions without disent. That is very disturbing. In her later years, she regularly casts out friends for even bringing up an opinion. Based upon the book, it is amazing how many people she touched and ruined.

This is definitely not the book for you if you idolize Rand.

She believed in being open to a point. And if she was open, you had to accept it. She decided to have a practical second marriage with her very young protege and demanded the approval of Rand's husband and the protege's wife. It was given. That approval would not be given in return.

I am appalled by how her life deteriorated as she aged. I am appalled that she would throw away important people and demand her followers also ostracize them.

I am confused by how Alan Greenspan was one of her followers, although the main objectivist point calls for a person taking responsibility and striving to get ahead rather than expecting government handouts. I need to reread the Age of Turbulence to see if he mentions her.

I am amazed at how politically involved she was. She supported Senator McCarty during the Communist witch hunts in Hollywood. What you don't hear is how those in power in Hollywood would blacklist those like Rand who spoke out against the Soviets. She also wrote and delivered a speech to Barry Goldwater when he was campaigning for president. She was pro-Nixon.

This is not a light read. Educational? Yes. I have known one person who threw me out of her life because I wouldn't take sides against an ex. People need to grow up.
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