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Letters of Ayn Rand
     

Letters of Ayn Rand

4.8 8
by Ayn Rand, Michael S. Berliner (Editor), Leonard Peikoff (Introduction)
 

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The publication of the letters of Ayn Rand is a cause for celebration, not only among the countless millions of Ayn Rand admirers the world over, but also among all those interested in the key political, philosophical, and artistic issues of our century. For there is no separation between Ayn Rand the vibrant, creative woman and Ayn Rand the intellectual

Overview

The publication of the letters of Ayn Rand is a cause for celebration, not only among the countless millions of Ayn Rand admirers the world over, but also among all those interested in the key political, philosophical, and artistic issues of our century. For there is no separation between Ayn Rand the vibrant, creative woman and Ayn Rand the intellectual dynamo, the rational thinker, who was also a passionately committed champion of individual freedom.

These remarkable letters begin in 1926, with a note from the twenty-year-old Ayn Rand, newly arrived in Chicago from Soviet Russia, an impoverished unknown determined to realize the promise of the land of opportunity. They move through her struggles and successes as a screenwriter, a playwright, and a novelist, her sensational triumph as the author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and her eminence as founder and shaper of Objectivism, one of the most challenging philosophies of our time. They are written to such famed contemporaries as Cecil B. DeMille, Frank Lloyd Wright, H.L. Mencken, Alexander Kerensky, Barry Goldwater and Mickey Spillane

There are letters to philosophers, priests, publishers, and political columnists; to her beloved husband, Frank O' Connor; and to her intimate circle of friends and her growing legion of followers. Her letters range in tone from warm affection to icy fury, and in content from telling commentaries on the events of the day to unforgettably eloquent statements of her philosophical ideas. They are presented chronologically, with explanatory notes by Michael S. Berliner, who identifies the recipients of the letters and provides relevant background and context. Here is a chronicle that captures the inspiring drama of a towering literary genius and seminal thinker, and—often day-by-day—her amazing life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Novelist, screenwriter, philosopher and staunch advocate of laissez-faire capitalism, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) saw communism, Nazism and fascism as kindred evils sprung from the same collectivist mentality. Her atheist philosophy, which she called objectivism and which was reflected in her bestselling novels-The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged-extolled individualism, voluntary cooperation and conscious choice while condemning altruism (living for others) and self-sacrifice as moral fallacies. These themes resound in her outspoken, sometimes strident correspondence, which includes letters to Senator Barry Goldwater, Frank Lloyd Wright, H.L. Mencken, Dashiell Hammett, Cecil B. DeMille and actors Robert Stack and Barbara Stanwyck. Sprinkled with critiques of liberals, leftists and others whom she saw as corrupted by collectivist thinking, the voluminous correspondence reflects Rand's desperate concern for her parents and sisters, trapped under Stalinism in her native Russia (which she left for Hollywood in 1926), and includes her analyses of her novels' plots as well as pessimistic cultural commentary on an America she considered to be in decline. Berliner is executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452274044
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
704
Sales rank:
902,203
Product dimensions:
5.95(w) x 8.95(h) x 1.41(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Born February 2, 1905, Ayn Rand published her first novel, We the Living, in 1936. Anthem followed in 1938. It was with the publication of The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) that she achieved her spectacular success. Rand’s unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience. The fundamentals of her philosophy are put forth in three nonfiction books, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtues of Selfishness, and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. They are all available in Signet editions, as is the magnificent statement of her artistic credo, The Romantic Manifesto.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 2, 1905
Date of Death:
March 6, 1982
Place of Birth:
St. Petersburg, Russia
Place of Death:
New York, New York
Education:
Graduated with highest honors in history from the University of Petrograd, 1924

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Letters of Ayn Rand 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok lets go
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I must confess, when I first received Letters of Ayn Rand from my sister as a birthday present, I wasn¿t very motivated to read it. I had read most of Ayn Rand¿s novels and a few books and essays about her life, so I thought it would be very similar to what I already knew about her. Was I pleasantly surprised! Reading her personal letters written to everyone from literally the boy and girl next door to Frank Lloyd Wright and Barbara Stanwyck gave me an insight into Rand¿s personality and values that can¿t be found elsewhere. What comes out in her letters is how seriously she takes not only her own ideas, but the ideas of others. The book is organized chronologically, so one can trace the development of her ideas as well as her successes 'and a few disappointments'. I was also very surprised to learn how actively involved she was in the marketing of her novels. She wasn¿t just passively standing by hoping people would read her novels rather, she gave suggestions to the publisher and edited marketing materials. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating personality and incredible mind behind The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.