Ayn Rand

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Rand, Ayn

(īn), 1905–82, American writer, b. St. Petersburg, Russia, as Alissa Rosenbaum. She came to the United States in 1926, became a citizen five years later, and worked for many years as a Hollywood screenwriter. Her novels are romantic, dramatic, and often didactic, espousing a philosophy built on a muscular capitalism, aggressive individualism, and a rational self-interest that opposes the collective nature of the modern welfare state and totalitarian societies. These principles are rather woodenly embodied in the plots, heroes, and villains of her major novels, The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957). In For the New Intellectual (1961) she summarized her philosophy, which she called "objectivism"; it posits a concrete external reality, idea-driven emotions, and self-interest as ethical ideal. Her works have had a notable influence on many of America's political and economic conservatives.


See the memoir by N. Branden (1989); biographies by B. Branden (1987), J. Burns (2009), and A. C. Heller (2009); study by J. T. Baker (1987); her letters, ed. by M. S. Berliner (1995), and her journals, ed. by D. Harriman (1997).

Rand, Ayn

(1905–82) writer, philosopher; born in St. Petersburg, Russia. As an adolescent during the Bolshevik Revolution, she saw people stripped of property and massacred. After graduating from the University of Leningrad (1926), she fled to the U.S.A., which she considered the "country of the individual," becoming a citizen in 1931. Starting as a screenwriter and dramatist, she eventually won fame for her novels, such as The Fountainhead (1943)—also made into a film she scripted—and Atlas Shrugged (1957), the bible of her "objectivism." This philosophy, promoted in books such as The Virtue of Selfishness (1957) and through an institute set up by her disciple Nathaniel Brandon, glorified self-assertion and competition.
References in periodicals archive ?
Allison handed out copies of "Atlas Shrugged" to senior executives and is a major donor to the Ayn Rand Institute.
Another good structural decision about A Companion to Ayn Rand concerns the choice to gather citations and detailed commentary at the ends of the chapters as endnotes rather than in footnotes at the bottom of each page.
Probably Ayn Rand was in the air because Paul Ryan offered so publicly that he was a follower," Lynn adds.
Like most people in this country, Ayn Rand first entered my life as the author of The Fountainhead, a novel that came out four years before the birth of the State of Israel.
Ayn Rand was not only against the New Deal, she was against the very concept that one citizen is obligated to care about the economic and social condition of a fellow citizen - against the very concept of the common good, as defined by Vatican II.
The Ayn Rand Institute donates annually 400,000 copies of various works of Ayn Rand.
In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand achieved a consistency of vision and depth of execution unparalleled in the freedom movement.
The existence of the Ayn Rand Society--an affiliate of the American Philosophical Association--suggests some worthy originality in her system-building.
Burns understands her importance in this respect, and while she may stretch her wider importance to the Right, to many a young conservative or libertarian, it often still begins with Ayn Rand.
Heller's Ayn Rand and the World She Made and Jennifer Burns's Goddess of the Market indicates that a belated but timely reconsideration of Rand's place in American letters and thought is under way.
Marlene Podritske and Peter Schwartz editors; OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING: AYN RAND INTERVIEWED; Lexington Books (Biography) $0.
The caliber and quality of woman who holds such positions of power like Ayn Rand, know that human greatness equals rational achievement irrespective of gender.