©2009 Anne C. Heller; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"This objective account of the Objectivist Rand will interest her still large and devoted readership." (Publishers Weekly)
I teach Business, Economics, and English at a university in Tokyo. My interests are in politics, economics, and philosophy. I hold a BA in English Literature, and an MA in Political Science.
Having read all of Ayn Rand's books I found this biography fascinating. I had to go back and read some of the novel's texts, and it gave me a new perspective.
The author shows great respect for her subject, while at the same time illustrating some very disturbing flaws in her personality. There are some interesting one line comments that are left hanging that need more explanation, but are given short shrift. If you are a reader of Ayn Rand this may open your eyes to some things. If you do not know who she is and have not read her books, you may walk away a bit confused. I would recommend it for people who have read at least The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. If you haven't read at least one of those two books, then this is not a good introduction to Ayn Rand.
There's no point. This was a gift of no value. Ayn Rand might say, "My work is me, the closest you'll get short of a mind meld."
Ayn Rand's work must be read directly if one wishes to know Ayn Rand. Even if an authors intention is good and true, then at best the product is the unintended consequence of second mind interpretations.
This biography will be best appreciated by listeners who have read or listened to Ayn Rand's works as referred. Ayn Rand's tough love for humanity is juxtaposed with some of the flaws of her personality and her philosophy, which are seemingly more of a dreamer and a revolutionary than of a thinker and a philosopher. The listeners would say, that Ayn Rand's objectivism is not so objective after all, as she often failed in her life to recognize that humans other than herself and their needs, feelings, thoughts, and rights, are also part the objective world, and that no wonder why Ayn Rand had and still has posthumously followers of more young students than of older and intellectually more sophisticated university professors. Potentially damaging to the idealistic passions of the young and Ayn Rand's beautiful and heroic ideals which are very much needed for the progress of humanity, this book does, nevertheless, help the objective understanding of Ayn Rand as a humanistic and historical phenomenon.
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What a terrible human being (Rand not Heller). I've never been a Rand fan but felt compelled to read something about her with her return to the pop-culture spotlight recently. I thoroughly enjoyed this fair and balanced biography. Neither pro nor (overly) anti-Rand Heller did a fantastic job of attempting to humanize a truly inhuman figure.
I was pretty amazed that the author was able to take the life of someone relatively boring and make it an interesting read.
Ayn Rand is interesting, but her life wasn't all that exciting. The author managed to find things about Ms. Rand's life that that helped the reader understand her legacy. The narrator did a very good job reading this one.
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