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Discovering Ayn Rand: The Expected and the Unexpected Or: The Adventures of a Biographer

Richard Ralston

Presented at: Lyceum 1995

Date: Aug 12, 1995

Across the entire course of her life from earliest childhood Ayn Rand exhibited an amazing consistency of central values and attributes: man-worship, a benevolent sense of life, and relentless logic. A detailed knowledge of the facts of her life leads to one essential conclusion. As Leonard Peikoff has described it, "If you have read her novels, she was just the person you would expect the author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged to have been."

However, Ayn Rand's life is also full of surprises for a biographer. Even for someone who has read and admired her published works for many years, many aspects of her life are completely unexpected, arising from her wide variety of experiences and interests. To review all of the biographical source documents in detail is to experience continual astonishment at Ayn Rand's ability to toss offstunning, original insights into philosophy and psychology-day after day-for her entire adult life. In this talk, Richard Ralston will share some "surprises" which will add to the texture of your understandingof Ayn Rand's life and art.

history of objectivism

Parts: 1

Handout: none


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