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Cameron Cruz
Cameron Cruz

Ayn Rand !!BETTER!!

Following the publication of The Fountainhead, Rand received many letters from readers, some of whom the book had influenced profoundly.[76] In 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City, where she gathered a group of these admirers that included future chair of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, a young psychology student named Nathan Blumenthal (later Nathaniel Branden) and his wife Barbara, and Barbara's cousin Leonard Peikoff. Initially, the group was an informal gathering of friends who met with Rand at her apartment on weekends to discuss philosophy. Later, Rand began allowing them to read the manuscript drafts of her new novel, Atlas Shrugged.[77] In 1954, her close relationship with Nathaniel Branden turned into a romantic affair, with the knowledge of their spouses.[78]

ayn rand

In 1958, Nathaniel Branden established the Nathaniel Branden Lectures, later incorporated as the Nathaniel Branden Institute (NBI), to promote Rand's philosophy through public lectures. He and Rand co-founded The Objectivist Newsletter (later renamed The Objectivist) in 1962 to circulate articles about her ideas;[87] she later republished some of these articles in book form. Rand was unimpressed by many of the NBI students[88] and held them to strict standards, sometimes reacting coldly or angrily to those who disagreed with her.[89][90][91] Critics, including some former NBI students and Branden himself, later described the culture of the NBI as one of intellectual conformity and excessive reverence for Rand. Some described the NBI or the Objectivist movement as a cult or religion.[92][93] Rand expressed opinions on a wide range of topics, from literature and music to sexuality and facial hair. Some of her followers mimicked her preferences, wearing clothes to match characters from her novels and buying furniture like hers.[94] Some former NBI students believed the extent of these behaviors was exaggerated, and the problem was concentrated among Rand's closest followers in New York.[91][95]

In 1964, Nathaniel Branden began an affair with the young actress Patrecia Scott, whom he later married. Nathaniel and Barbara Branden kept the affair hidden from Rand. When she learned of it in 1968, though her romantic involvement with Branden was already over,[109] Rand ended her relationship with both Brandens, and the NBI was closed.[110] She published an article in The Objectivist repudiating Nathaniel Branden for dishonesty and other "irrational behavior in his private life".[111] In subsequent years, Rand and several more of her closest associates parted company.[112]

Commentators, including Hazel Barnes, Nathaniel Branden, and Albert Ellis, have criticized Rand's focus on the importance of reason. Barnes and Ellis said Rand was too dismissive of emotion and failed to recognize its importance in human life. Branden said Rand's emphasis on reason led her to denigrate emotions and create unrealistic expectations of how consistently rational human beings should be.[154]

After the closure of the Nathaniel Branden Institute, the Objectivist movement continued in other forms. In the 1970s, Peikoff began delivering courses on Objectivism.[292] In 1979, Peter Schwartz started a newsletter called The Intellectual Activist, which Rand endorsed.[293][294] She also endorsed The Objectivist Forum, a bimonthly magazine founded by Objectivist philosopher Harry Binswanger, which ran from 1980 to 1987.[295]

The Collective continued as an ever-expanding but tight-knit group until 1968. It was then that Branden, who had already divorced his wife, chose to reveal he was having an affair with a younger woman. Rand responded by excoriating him, his ex-wife Barbara, and the work that Branden had done to expand the reach of Objectivism. While members of the group like Greenspan and Peikoff remained loyal, the Collective was essentially disbanded; the Randians were left to follow their own paths.

In 1928, just two years after Ayn Rand arrived in the U.S. from Soviet Russia and settled in Los Angeles, she scribbled diary notes in her brand-new language that formed a story she called The Little Street. Its protagonist, Danny Renahan, is modeled on a real-life Los Angeles murderer, 19-year-old William Hickman, who strangled and dismembered a girl in a kidnapping-for-ransom gone awry. 041b061a72


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