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Fifty-five years after Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand is more in the news than ever. Ayn Rand Explained is an accurate and riveting account of Rand’s life, work, and influence, with the emphasis on her ideas. The book covers Rand’s career, from youth in Soviet Russia to Hollywood screenwriter and then to ideological guru; her novels and other fiction writings; her work in ethics Fifty-five years after Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand is more in the news than ever. Ayn Rand Explained is an accurate and riveting account of Rand’s life, work, and influence, with the emphasis on her ideas. The book covers Rand’s career, from youth in Soviet Russia to Hollywood screenwriter and then to ideological guru; her novels and other fiction writings; her work in ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics; her influence on—and personal animosity toward—both conservatism and libertarianism. Rand’s Objectivism encompasses the ethics of rational egoism (‘The Virtue of Selfishness’); dedication to rational thinking and acting; rejection of faith in the supernatural, personal freedom from political interference, and a moral defense of limited government and laissez-faire. Objectivism was first promoted through the Nathaniel Branden Institute, headed by Rand’s young protégé and designated heir. The Institute’s phenomenally rapid growth was abruptly cut short when Rand expelled Branden and his followers in 1968. Today Objectivism is represented by different factions, notably the Ayn Rand Institute and the Atlas Society. This is a revised, updated edition of The Ideas of Ayn Rand (1991), including new information on Rand’s rocketing influence, new stories about her personal relationships, and new analysis of her life and ideas.


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Fifty-five years after Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand is more in the news than ever. Ayn Rand Explained is an accurate and riveting account of Rand’s life, work, and influence, with the emphasis on her ideas. The book covers Rand’s career, from youth in Soviet Russia to Hollywood screenwriter and then to ideological guru; her novels and other fiction writings; her work in ethics Fifty-five years after Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand is more in the news than ever. Ayn Rand Explained is an accurate and riveting account of Rand’s life, work, and influence, with the emphasis on her ideas. The book covers Rand’s career, from youth in Soviet Russia to Hollywood screenwriter and then to ideological guru; her novels and other fiction writings; her work in ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics; her influence on—and personal animosity toward—both conservatism and libertarianism. Rand’s Objectivism encompasses the ethics of rational egoism (‘The Virtue of Selfishness’); dedication to rational thinking and acting; rejection of faith in the supernatural, personal freedom from political interference, and a moral defense of limited government and laissez-faire. Objectivism was first promoted through the Nathaniel Branden Institute, headed by Rand’s young protégé and designated heir. The Institute’s phenomenally rapid growth was abruptly cut short when Rand expelled Branden and his followers in 1968. Today Objectivism is represented by different factions, notably the Ayn Rand Institute and the Atlas Society. This is a revised, updated edition of The Ideas of Ayn Rand (1991), including new information on Rand’s rocketing influence, new stories about her personal relationships, and new analysis of her life and ideas.

35 review for Ayn Rand Explained: From Tyranny to Tea Party

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    The title tells it all. Marsha Familaro Enright's revision and update of Ronald E. Merrill's book provides an explanation and an overview to the life and thought of Ayn Rand. The author demonstrates a substantial breadth of knowledge about Ayn Rand and her work. In addition to the overview of Ayn Rand and her work the author presents examples of people in many different walks of life that have been influenced by Ayn Rand's thought along with a brief history of the growth of Ayn Rand's philosophy The title tells it all. Marsha Familaro Enright's revision and update of Ronald E. Merrill's book provides an explanation and an overview to the life and thought of Ayn Rand. The author demonstrates a substantial breadth of knowledge about Ayn Rand and her work. In addition to the overview of Ayn Rand and her work the author presents examples of people in many different walks of life that have been influenced by Ayn Rand's thought along with a brief history of the growth of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. As someone who has read most of Ayn Rand's fiction and non-fiction I was impressed with the depth of understanding and the insights of the author. She compares Ayn Rand's fiction with examples of other authors when relevant and explains clearly the development of the philosophical outlook represented by the characters in Rand's major works. She also presents some of the common criticisms of Ayn Rand's philosophical views in lucid prose that makes clear the nature of the issues and the power of Rand's ideas to refute them when they are properly understood. Above all, her presentation and discussion of the ideas and the views of critics of Ayn Rand show a reasonableness that demonstrates the true nature of Objectivist thought and honors her subject. This approach was refreshing and all too rare in an age when irrationality is held as the norm by many. Ultimately, any explanation of Ayn Rand must focus on the power of ideas. These are presented clearly here and the reader is encouraged to read her work and think for himself about the value of those ideas. The nature of Ayn Rand's ideas is presented in a way that I found engaging and hopeful. I believe that readers both new to Rand and those who have read much of her work will benefit from the insights provided in Ayn Rand Explained.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fred Kohn

    A hard book to rate. The book is packed with information on Rand's life and occasionally a good insight appears. On the other hand, chapter one was so disgustingly full of hero worship that I barely made it to the next chapter. The section discussing Rand's fiction contained many non-sequiturs that left me scratching my head. The discussion of Rand's philosophy avoided this pitfall, and had some surprising concessions, such as "The problems with the foundations of Objectivist politics remain uns A hard book to rate. The book is packed with information on Rand's life and occasionally a good insight appears. On the other hand, chapter one was so disgustingly full of hero worship that I barely made it to the next chapter. The section discussing Rand's fiction contained many non-sequiturs that left me scratching my head. The discussion of Rand's philosophy avoided this pitfall, and had some surprising concessions, such as "The problems with the foundations of Objectivist politics remain unsolved." Unfortunately the conclusion returned to the absurdities of the first chapter: "A hundred years from now ... Rand will be seen as a giant among 20th century thinkers. Not only will Objectivism be recognized as a major contribution ... but very likely our whole way of philosophy will have changed."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jack Gardner

    Marsha Enright is the real author of this revision, as shown in the book. Refreshing look at Ayn Rand and Her Works. Whatever your interest in Ayn Rand, to understand her or question her, this gem gives insights to her person, novels, philosophy, and influence. An objective look at Objectivists and Objectivism. Certainly makes you want to reread all of Rand's novels. Highlighting themes and subthemes of both plots and characters, and demonstrating the growth of her views. (Including playful ti Marsha Enright is the real author of this revision, as shown in the book. Refreshing look at Ayn Rand and Her Works. Whatever your interest in Ayn Rand, to understand her or question her, this gem gives insights to her person, novels, philosophy, and influence. An objective look at Objectivists and Objectivism. Certainly makes you want to reread all of Rand's novels. Highlighting themes and subthemes of both plots and characters, and demonstrating the growth of her views. (Including playful tidbits like Rand's cameo in "Atlas Shrugged" as the "writer-fishwife with a hopeless passion for Galt.") Enright provides an educational and entertaining expansion, by some 25%, of Merrill's 1991 work. Briefly explaining history, originality, and common disagreements. Something long and sorely needed by fans of Rand. Especially those welcoming her Objectivist philosophy, in the tradition of Aristotle, opposing the "ideologies of relativism and subjectivism." The challenge of Rand's life and works: How to live rationally with integrity in an irrational culture?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Juanita De Vittorio

  5. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kati

  7. 5 out of 5

    Frank Spencer

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Perren

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jane St.John

  10. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

  11. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Murr

  12. 5 out of 5

    inniyah

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Maule

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katrine

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Biggers

  16. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  17. 5 out of 5

    Walter Foddis

  18. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Peterson

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  20. 5 out of 5

    Liz

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tim Kreukniet

  22. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rpamula

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marc Schwalb

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kiersten Greenshields

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rodney Ulyate

  31. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

  32. 4 out of 5

    Winnie Andersen

  33. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Abernathy

  34. 5 out of 5

    Bob Croft

  35. 4 out of 5

    David Brown

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