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Ayn Rand Explained
     

Ayn Rand Explained

4.5 2
by Ronald E. Merrill, Marsha Familaro Enright (Revised by)
 

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Ayn Rand (1905-1982) is unique in human history. Scorned by the established critics, she wrote brilliant popular novels that have become permanent best-sellers, and founded a comprehensive philosophical and cultural movement which, decades after her death, is shaking the foundations of the post New Deal American political order.

Ayn Rand Explained gives a

Overview

Ayn Rand (1905-1982) is unique in human history. Scorned by the established critics, she wrote brilliant popular novels that have become permanent best-sellers, and founded a comprehensive philosophical and cultural movement which, decades after her death, is shaking the foundations of the post New Deal American political order.

Ayn Rand Explained gives a comprehensive survey of Rand's wide ranging contributions: her literary techniques; her espousal and then rejection of Nietzschean philosophy; her contradictory attitude to feminism; her dismissal of religious faith; her forays into ethics, epistomology, and metaphysics; the development of her political creed; her influence on--and yet hostility to - both conservatism and libertarianism.

The late Ronald E. Merrill, a graduate of MIT and the University of Oregon, was a scientist entrepreneur who ran his own business in the Los Angeles area. Ho wrote books or venture capital and sundry articles on science, business, and politics.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Enright, a psychotherapist and board member of the Atlas Society who is revising and updating Merrill’s 1991 The Ideas of Ayn Rand, examines Rand’s life, writings, and thought, as well as the often harsh critical reaction to her philosophy. From her traumatic experiences of growing up during the Russian Revolution, Rand discovered a “passionate love for independent, creative Man, and a hatred for all forms of collectivism.” Out of this, she developed Objectivism, best expressed in her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In her fiction, highly independent men struggle against a totalitarian world to produce great, creative work and achieve success. Taking reason as the ultimate guide, Rand concludes that “the only meaningful or justifiable values a man can choose are those which serve to sustain his life.” Viewed through this lens, capitalism becomes the best system for providing people with opportunities to develop their talents. This emphasis on individual excellence also means Rand rejected such values as altruism, decried religious ideologies, and called for a “pure” laissez-faire market economy. Enright shows how Rand’s ideas emerge from previous philosophers, explaining her view of selfishness as Aristotle’s concept of the “Great-Souled man,” “pursuing excellence and achievement” with nobility and vision. An exhaustive exploration of a controversial, much misunderstood writer and thinker. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812697988
Publisher:
Open Court Publishing Company
Publication date:
11/20/2012
Series:
Ideas Explained
Edition description:
Revised Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,402,056
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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Ayn Rand Explained 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Publisher's Weekly refers to Rand as a much misunderstood thinker. But in fact, it is more accurate to say that Rand's ideas are misrepresented and caricatured by her largely hostile leftist-oriented reviewers. These critics, alarmed by the growth in popularity of her novels and nonfiction writings, choose to issue ad hominem attacks on her personal life, accusing her of hypocrisy, while at the same time, falsely accusing her of denigrating the poor and advocating a dictatorship of the rich. As Marsha Familiaro Enright so skillfully explains in this updated version of Ron Merrill's original text (which was an excellent, but now dated, book), despite the clarity and precision of Rand's writings (or perhaps because of it), reviewers of her works rarely if ever describe the essentials of Rand's philosophy,Objectivism. Mrs. Enright attempts to set the record straight by illustrating exactly what Rand advocated and why she has been the target of a campaign of vituperation. But this is not a book that is completely uncritical of Rand and some of her self-appointed advocates, who may have done as much damage to her legacy as her most vociferous leftist critics. Enright also submits their positions for her critical analysis. This book is one of the few "objective" analyses of Ayn Rand's philosophy, the ideological movement it engendered, and the responses of its supporters and its critics.
AmaranthCO More than 1 year ago
Important addition to my library