WHO IS AYN RAND? by Nathaniel Branden

WHO IS AYN RAND?

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

With combined hard and paperback sale of The Fountainhead (1943) topping 1,500,000 and combined sale of Atlas Shrugged (1957) now approaching that mark, interest in Ayn Rand continues. Nathaniel Branden is a young psychologist whose semi-annual 20 basic lectures on ""Objectivism"" (Miss Rand's name for her philosophy) are so popular in New York City that it became plausible to give them ""live"" or on tape recordings elsewhere. The Nathaniel Branden Institute's monthly newsletter has been heralding this book to its subscribers, and word-of-mouth expectancy is feverish. Those who seek in Branden's chapters a whetstone on which to sharpen the swords of defense against Miss Rand's critics will definitely not be disappointed. He has supplied precisely what her admirers will appreciate: a subtle but utterly explicit refutation of almost every direct attack and every indirect argument raised since Atlas Shrugged touched off a modern crusade more than four years ago. To his credit, however, Branden does not merely stand on the defensive. Deftly, he illuminates the cardinal principles at the base of Ayn Rand's ethical system, and identifies -- for those who have missed her platform appearances -- what Miss Rand means when she lectures on ""America's Bankrupt Culture"". Who Is Ayn Rand? Is in four sections. ""The Moral Revolution in Atlas shrugged"" clearly sets Ayn Rand apart from other philosophers to whom she has been compared. A summary of applications of ""objectivism"" to psychology looks ahead to a full-length work known to be in preparation. The title biographical essay by Barbara (Mrs. Nathaniel) Branden is disarmingly affectionate, in serene disregard of the critical view that ""Objectivists"" have neither feelings nor emotions. Branden's searching, spell-binding study of ""The Literary Method of Ayn Rand"" explains the great impact of her artistic achievement. Branden's long, close association with Miss Rand Lends authority to his presentation, yet there is sufficient originality in his approach. Although he is not a writer by profession, his craftsmanship is thoroughly dependable and dignified. At best guess of the market, he will be properly compensated for his effort.

Publisher: Random House