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My Years with Ayn Rand by [Branden, Nathaniel]

My Years with Ayn Rand Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Ayn Rand's novels and philosophy have been the object of widespread popular interest since the 1950s. After her death in 1982, there was a spate of biographical and critical interest; her popularity continues with a U.S. postage stamp and a television documentary, both scheduled for this spring. These two books offer divergent perspectives on Rand, her followers, and the Objectivist movement. Branden (The Art of Living Consciously, LJ 3/1/97) offers a revised version of his 1989 memoir. A personal account of his intellectual and romantic relationship with Rand and their famous break, it is useful for its insider's view of the Objectivist movement and may appeal to those interested in gossipy details of the protagonists' lives. While objectivity isn't expected in an insider's account, this memoir nonetheless lacks critical distanceAeven after nearly 50 yearsAand is marred by plodding narrative and wooden dialog. Canadian journalist Walker makes a more valuable and original contribution to Rand studies. He analyzes the Objectivist movement, Rand's leadership role, and the politics of her inner circle in terms of the cult dynamic. This analytical perspective avoids the common extremes of hagiography and vilification that mark many accounts of Rand's schismatic movement. Walker also does a credible job of placing Rand's ideas in the context of philosophies that preceded and followed her, and it offers insightful chapters on three of her major followers: Branden, Leonard Peikoff, and Alan Greenspan. His account is well researched and clearly written, though it is sometimes weighed down by an unsynthesized accumulation of detail. A solid contribution to 20th-century intellectual history.AJulia Burch, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Dr. Branden's account of his complex relationship with the literary great . . . allows us a fascinating glimpse into the passions of their lives--intellectual and personal. . . . [It is] not only a memoir of a mythic woman . . . but a chronicle of a stirring intellectual commitment to a political morality that indivudally could only fail." (NAPRA ReView)

"What a story! It's heroic, romantic, deadly, horrifying, tender-and I couldn't put it down." (George Leonard, author of The Transformation and Education and Education and Ecstasy)

"Relentlessly revealing. . . the myth of Ayn Rand gives way to a full-sized portrait in contrasting colors, appealing and appalling, potent and paradoxical. . . . it takes a special kind of nerve to write such a book." (Norman Cousins, author of Head First and The Healing Heart)

"Non-stop theater. All the ingredients are there: conflict, colorful characters, suspense, and a Greek inevitability of tragedy born of hubris. There's a nexus of sex nearly dizzying in its permutations." (Dale Wasserman, playwright and screenwriter, Man of La Mancha and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)

"Branden plots his relationship with Rand from a psychological vantage point, with devastatingly articulate results. . . . A fascinating portrait of Rand and her disciples." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Do you know my greatest reward for 'The Fountainhead?' You." (Ayn Rand to Nathaniel Branden)

Product details

  • File Size: 2028 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (February 26, 1999)
  • Publication Date: February 26, 1999
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003VIWZII
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,231,859 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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