Cover image for My years with Ayn Rand
Title:
My years with Ayn Rand
Author:
Branden, Nathaniel.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
viii, 422 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780787945138
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PS3535.A547 Z564 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Previous Praise for Nathaniel Branden

"Relentlessly revealing. . . the myth of Ayn Rand gives way to a full-sized portrait in contrasting colors, appealing and appalling, potent and paradoxical. . . . it takes a special kind of nerve to write such a book."
-- Norman Cousins , author of Head First and The Healing Heart

Ayn Rand′s Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential books of the twentieth century-its popular impact ranked second only to the Bible in a major poll. Millions know Rand as one of this century′s great thinkers, writers, and philosophers, yet much about the private Ayn Rand remains shrouded in mystery.

Who was Ayn Rand?

My Years with Ayn Rand charts the course of the clandestine, tempestuous relationship between the enigmatic author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and Nathaniel Branden-her young disciple and future pioneer of the self-esteem movement. In this book, discover the real Ayn Rand through the eyes of the man who became her soul mate and shared her passions and philosophical ideals.

Their tragic and tumultuous love story began with a letter written by Branden as an admiring teenage fan and Anded, more than twenty years later, with accusations of betrayal and bitter recriminations. My Years with Ayn Rand paints an unforgettable portrait of Ayn Rand-whose ideas, even today, can generate a maelstrom of controversy.


Author Notes

Nathan Blumenthal was born on April 9, 1930 in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. He received a master's degree at New York University and a doctorate from the California Graduate Institute. He wrote Ayn Rand a letter while attending college in California. She responded and they became philosophical soul mates, lovers, and business associates. At Rand's suggestion, he changed his name to Nathaniel Branden. In 1958, he started the Nathaniel Branden Institute, where he helped repackage her ideas into lectures, recordings, books, and articles. Their collaboration and affair ended in 1968.

He started promoting a revised version of their early ideas, shifting the emphasis from self-interest to self-esteem. He started the Institute of Biocentric Psychology and wrote a book entitled The Psychology of Self-Esteem. He wrote numerous books including The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Taking Responsibility, The Art of Living Consciously, and Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand. He died from complications of Parkinson's disease on December 3, 2014 at the age of 84.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

According to this devastating and often heavy-handed critique, Ayn Rand, whose novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged exposed millions to her philosophy of virtuous self-centeredness and capitalist freedom, was an oppressive personality whose Objectivist movement demonstrated all the classic elements of a destructive cult (its messianic leader and its separation of group members from family and friends). Walker presents his subject as an arrogant, dogmatic bully who brooked no criticism and as a repressed narcissist who feared her own emotions and hid behind a glorification of reason. He concludes that Rand was no more than a third-rate pop-novelist of propaganda fiction and that her "vulgar Nietzschean" philosophy's obsessive concern with the overachiever‘who requires protection via absolutized individual rights‘contributed to the movement's cultish aspects. Walker also savages self-esteem guru Nathaniel Branden, who was Rand's protégé and extramarital lover; their explosive breakup in 1968 pulverized the Objectivist movement, whose contemporary schisms and crosscurrents he ploddingly tracks. In a vitriolic chapter on Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan‘a one-time member of Rand's inner circle‘Walker unpersuasively contends that this banker's "inflation-obsessed" policies grew out of Rand's theories. Those who find Rand's self-styled philosophy outré may not find much of interest in this scathing, albeit clumsy, exposé. Others will find it a useful corrective to the Rand mystique. (Feb.) FYI: Branden's tell-all account of his affair with Rand and his role in the Objectivist movement is being reissued in a new edition in March as My Years with Ayn Rand: The Truth Behind the Myth (Jossey-Bass, $19 480p ISBN 0-7879-4513-7). While he does criticize Rand personally, his treatment differs from Walker's in that he still reveres her as a philosopher. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Ayn Rand's novels and philosophy have been the object of widespread popular interest since the 1950s. After her death in 1982, there was a spate of biographical and critical interest; her popularity continues with a U.S. postage stamp and a television documentary, both scheduled for this spring. These two books offer divergent perspectives on Rand, her followers, and the Objectivist movement. Branden (The Art of Living Consciously, LJ 3/1/97) offers a revised version of his 1989 memoir. A personal account of his intellectual and romantic relationship with Rand and their famous break, it is useful for its insider's view of the Objectivist movement and may appeal to those interested in gossipy details of the protagonists' lives. While objectivity isn't expected in an insider's account, this memoir nonetheless lacks critical distanceÄeven after nearly 50 yearsÄand is marred by plodding narrative and wooden dialog. Canadian journalist Walker makes a more valuable and original contribution to Rand studies. He analyzes the Objectivist movement, Rand's leadership role, and the politics of her inner circle in terms of the cult dynamic. This analytical perspective avoids the common extremes of hagiography and vilification that mark many accounts of Rand's schismatic movement. Walker also does a credible job of placing Rand's ideas in the context of philosophies that preceded and followed her, and it offers insightful chapters on three of her major followers: Branden, Leonard Peikoff, and Alan Greenspan. His account is well researched and clearly written, though it is sometimes weighed down by an unsynthesized accumulation of detail. A solid contribution to 20th-century intellectual history.ÄJulia Burch, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Author's Notep. vii
Introductionp. 1
Part 1

p. 5

1

p. 7

2

p. 24

3

p. 33

4

p. 48

5

p. 68

6

p. 87

7

p. 101

Part 2

p. 127

8

p. 129

9

p. 152

10

p. 173

11

p. 199

12

p. 221

Part 3

p. 243

13

p. 245

14

p. 276

15

p. 290

16

p. 310

17

p. 346

Epiloguep. 367
The Authorp. 407
Indexp. 409

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