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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand Hardcover – January 1, 1989

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Branden's long, tedious account of his 18-year relationship with Ayn Rand is weighted with self-dramatization. The domineering author of The Fountainhead was 25 years his senior when they met in 1950; both were married yet carried on an affair. Branden writes that in 1968, when Rand discovered he was having an affair with Patrecia Gullison, an actress-model who became his second wife, Rand violently severed their relationship and excommunicated him from the inner circle of the Objectivist movement, of which Branden had been a chief disciple. After Patrecia drowned in 1977, Branden's third wife, Devers, formed a friendship with Rand, who still refused to speak to Branden. As he set tles scores with colleagues here and tests his theory of the psychology of romantic love, he also tests the reader's patience; nevertheless, Rand devotees will likely relish the steamy details of her personal life. Photos.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.


...the book provides valuable insights into the life of a great thinker and her followers, warns of the dangers of cultism, points out the positive aspects and hazards of Rand's philosophy, and provides an introduction to Mr. Branden's own significant work on the psychology of self-esteem. Not bad for a story that is often as gripping as, well, an Ayn Rand novel. -- Judge Alex Kozinski, Wall Street Journal

An intensely personal story of the making of a powerful intellectual movement that helped shape the policy changes now rocking the world. the story will appall some, anguish others, and intrigue and excite everyone. -- Martin Anderson, The Hoover Institute

Branden faced up to the issues with really admirable courage and frankness....A quite extraordinary book. -- Colin Wilson, Author of The Outsider

Branden's riveting book has love, philosophy and mystery...an unparalleled investigative memoir about people who have shaped our world view. -- Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, USC, and author of Why Leaders Can't Lead

It struck me as non-stop theatre. All the ingredients are there: conflict, colorful characters, suspense, and a Greek inevitability of tragedy born of hubris. There are scenes that collect energy and explode just this side of melodrama. There's a nexus of sex nearly dizzying in its permutations-and a confrontation climax to delight the heart of any dramatist. Judgment Day is a novel, a drama, a memoir; and most of all, one suspects, an act of catharsis demanding great courage of its author. -- Dale Wasserman, Playwright and sreenwriter Man of La Mancha, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Judgment Day is the story of an intensely passionate man who loves four very different women, the universe of ideas, and the infinite possibilities of life. Truly stimulating whether or not you care about Ayn Rand, Objectivism or Nathaniel Branden. And if you do care-an incredible feast. -- Jeremy P. Tarcher, President, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.

Utterly compelling -- Robin Mather, Detroit News

What a story! It's heroic, romantic, deadly, horrifyng, tender-and I couldn't put it down. -- George Leonard, former Look editor, a founder of the Esalen Institute, and author of Walking on the Edge of the World

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1st edition (June 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395461073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395461075
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book gives keen insight into the minds of two people who have influenced many through their writings, philosophical and otherwise. As the author reveals in extreme detail, their relationship was an extremely intense one, and this is not surprising given the capacity and power of their intellects. Their eventual separation was bitter, and even before this book came out, in fact long before, those who are familiar with their early writings could sense that something very bad had happened between them. Their break however did not affect their productivity and in spite of the pain they no doubt felt after it, both of them still exhibited a brilliance that is still being felt today through their writings.
Some who read the book may say that it is the age difference between Rand and Branden that exacerbated their problems. This no doubt played a factor, and the author acknowledges this also, but as the book reveals, there were other things that aggravated such a relationship between two intellectual powerhouses as these are (were). Rand would like to say that it is the rational intellect that serves as the glue for a lasting and true relationship. Her limited definition of rationality though results in a narrow bandwidth that limits any alternative notions of love and friendship from getting through to her. The aesthetic quality of two people can play a large role in their attraction, and this should cause no surprise if one thinks of it in the context of human evolution. In addition, two people can be quite at odds philosophically and still have a satisfying relationship, a notion though that Rand would not be able to entertain.
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Format: Hardcover
How did Ayn Rand affect your life? Are you infatuated with her infallible logic, or are you repulsed by her cold-hearted nature? Did her novels inspire you to greatness, or did they make you retch? Have you embraced her philosophy, or have you sworn to destroy it? Was she someone you wanted to emulate, or was she someone you wanted to kill?

Whether or not you agreed with her, Ayn Rand was a woman who provoked extreme reactions. And no matter how much she affected your life, she had far more impact on the life of Nathaniel Branden.

Earlier, I tried to read a couple of Branden's other works, but couldn't wade through all the Objectivist head-shrinker jargon. He wrote like someone who spent too much of his life in college.

However, Judgment Day is surprisingly readable. Though he's sometimes a bit wordy, Branden uses plain English for a change. Most of his psychologizing is kept down to a paragraph or less at a time, and these explanations are generally helpful.

Branden writes from personal experience, and usually goes into detail. He concentrates mostly on the 18-year association with Ayn Rand that dominated his life, as she progressively became his mentor, friend, lover, and business partner. While he still defends her philosophy, he also provides a full account of her erratic personality.

Rand could patiently discuss all sorts of worldly topics, but would lose her temper at the most trivial annoyances. Jammed locks, missing buttons and broken toasters conspired against her. She never learned to drive, and had a hard time mastering any real technology, despite writing extensively about it.

Branden entered Rand's life while she was writing Atlas Shrugged.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary memoir of Nathaniel Branden's life with Ayn Rand and the subsequent development of the Objectivism movement. Branden is a better writer than Rand as I enjoyed reading the 400+ pages and did not enjoy Rand's novel "The Fountainhead," which some claim was Rand's erotic fantasy. After reading the Fountainhead at age 14, Branden found the novel life changing and became enraptured with Ayn Rand. Years later at age 19, synchronicity would bring them together and Branden does an excellent job explaining in detail how he and Rand ended up in an affair and later, her rage when he chose to end it. Ayn Rand is definitely a cougar's cougar--a 49 year old woman gets in bed with a 24 year old? Selfish? Yes. Moral? Maybe not. Cruel? Even though both Branden and Rand persuaded their then spouses to go along with the affair, Branden admits at that time he was surprised at his own cruelty.

Throughout, Branden writes frequently of his regrets and inability to let go of relationships he knew were at a dead end. Although Branden does not call out Rand as a narcissist, others have, such as Linda Martinez-Lewi's book "Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life." Clearly by Branden's description Rand was a narcissist. Crossing a narcissist as Branden eventually did by rejecting her sexually, will throw them in a narcissistic rage and want to annihilate the sinner. Narcissists are the ultimate hypocrites, and no one was more of a hypocrite than Ayn Rand and her mesmerized groupies. This book put to bed (so-to-speak) my ambivalence about Ayn Rand as someone whose ideals I would not want to follow as a blueprint for life. Branden's work in self-esteem, in my opinion, redeems whatever mistakes he might have made in the Objectivism movement/cult.
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