Barbara Branden is a writer and lecturer. She earned her M.A. in philosophy, and authored a thesis on free will, under the direction of Sidney Hook at New York University. She was Ayn Rand's intimate friend and colleague for eighteen years, and a close friend of the members of the "Rand Circle." She was Managing Editor of "The Objectivist,” a philosophical journal, and Executive Vice-President of Nathaniel Branden Institute in New York. At NBI, she conceived and presented a popular course on the nature of efficient thinking. In 1986, Doubleday published the first edition of her best-selling and critically acclaimed biography, "The Passion of Ayn Rand", which subsequently spawned a Showtime television movie, starring Helen Mirren and Peter Fonda. Barbara lives in West Hollywood, California.
The Passion of Ayn Randby Barbara Branden
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The 2013 edition of the New York Times bestseller with an important new introduction by the author. "The Passion of Ayn Rand" was the first full-length Ayn Rand biography ever published and this eBook edition is the most comprehensive biographical study of Rand available. Barbara Branden was a personal friend of Ayn Rand from 1950 to 1968 and wrote the only authorized biographical essay about her, " Who Is Ayn Rand?" To write this book Branden drew from over 40 hours of taped interviews with Rand and interviewed more than two hundred other people, including Rand's sister, aunt and cousins, in-laws, associates from her days in Hollywood, and early conservative and libertarian friends. "Who was Ayn Rand?" asked George Gilder in the Washington Post Book Review. "The answer emerges at last in a superb biography written with much of the sweep, drama and narrative momentum of the great works of Ayn Rand herself." This biography begins with Rand's early life in Russia, where she was born and grew up amid the nightmare of the Communist revolution. The reader then travels with her to America, where eventually the "Ayn Rand nation" would make her a bestselling writer, avidly reading everything she wrote about objectivism, capitalism, Russian radicalism and moral philosophy. Rand wrote thirteen books, including the novels Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead and Anthem. "A stunning biography," wrote Roy A. Childs, Jr., "...rich in revelations that will add substance to a hidden life, and depth to an enigmatic genius who strode across the world's stage."
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In the introduction to the new Nook edition Branden reviews how the popularity and impact of Rand has steeply risen (I would imagine in part because of this book, which was a bestseller in the 1990's). At any rate, I've read all of Rand's books at least twice in my life and I have to say they never made complete sense to me until I read this eBook. When Branden carefully retraces the details of Rand's childhood and her arrival in America and her work in Hollywood (!) you can see almost exactly where (practically the day) she came to believe certain things. And then Branden was physically there assisting Rand for years and years so we can see where she made certain editorial decisions. I read the customer reviews from ten years ago (I guess these are from the print edition?) and started laughing because one imagines they must have been written by someone who has it out for the author for it is certainly the most comprehensive, detailed and fact-checked biography I've ever read about Rand.! So I loved it. Just dip into a sample and you'll see. I'm giving it 5 stars.
Recent articles have demonstrated the many inaccuracies (and dishonesty) of this book. Totally discredited.
This book is a vicious attempt to publicly smear Ayn Rand by claiming to disclose certain extremely intimate aspects of her personal life. Had it been written during Ayn Rand's lifetime, she could have dealt with it both morally and legally. Such an attempt to defame her reveals more about the author than about Ayn Rand.