JUDGMENT DAY: My Years With Ayn Rand by Nathaniel Branden

JUDGMENT DAY: My Years With Ayn Rand

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An engrossing portrait of the Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand and her followers, as told by the intellectual heir she later repudiated. Branden, author of such self-help manuals as The Psychology of Self-Esteem and If You Could Hear What I Cannot Say, starts off woodenly, then warms to the task of relating his 18-year relationship with Rand. He also describes Rand's followers--the intellectuals, economists, and others who accepted her demand for total loyalty and were ever ready to discuss and practice her philosophy of ""enlightened selfishness."" Branden had immersed himself in The Fountainhead by the time he met Rand at the age of 20. She became fascinated with him and, although 25 years his senior, soon proposed a romantic relationship that was undertaken with the consent of both their spouses. The relationship lasted 18 years, until Branden could stand it no longer. When he finally opted out, an enraged Rand set about cutting him off from the Objectivists, savaging his reputation, and even preventing the publication of his first book. Branden plots his relationship with Rand from a psychological vantage point, with devastatingly articulate results, painting a vivid picture of a controlling, authoritarian woman who was ""a genius at reasoning. . .and no less a genius at rationalizing."" A fascinating portrait of Rand and her disciples, this is psychological soap-opera at its best.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1989
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin