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Ayn Rand Biographical FAQ (Notes)

The notes below provide citations and background information for items in the Ayn Rand Biographical FAQ. Each note is linked to the appropriate section of the FAQ. For works that are cited frequently, limited citations are provided, with links to a page offering more bibliographical details.

Notes for Section 2 - Ayn Rand Basics

Section 2.2, note 1: Basic chronologies of Rand's life are available from both the Ayn Rand Institute and the Atlas Society. During her early life, Russia still used the old Julian calendar. Most biographical sources give dates for Rand's early life using the Gregorian calendar that is now used in Russia and most other countries. Rand's birth certificate, reproduced in Rand, p. 2, shows her birthdate as January 20 using the older calendar. Russia switched to the Gregorian calendar in February 1918. All dates in this FAQ use the Gregorian calendar. [Return to FAQ]

Section 2.2, note 2: In the two decades Rand lived in Russia, this city changed names twice, first to Petrograd, then to Leningrad. It is now called St. Petersburg again. [Return to FAQ]

Section 2.3, note 1: Ayn Rand, "The 'Inexplicable Personal Alchemy'" in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, p. 118, emphasis in original. [Return to FAQ]

Section 2.4, note 1: Readers interested in hearing Rand's name spoken by Rand or her close associates can view the movie Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life or listen to any of the numerous taped lectures by Rand and her associates, in which her name is mentioned. [Return to FAQ]

Section 2.5, note 1: Radical, p. 24. See also p. 389, note 1. The variations used for the first name tend to depend on what source material the author is using. 'Alissa' comes from Sciabarra's work. 'Alisa' is used by authors working with the Ayn Rand Institute (cf. Sense, p. 20). 'Alice' comes from Barbara Branden's work (cf. Passion, p. 3). 'Alyssa' does not typically appear in print sources, but is used on several web sites (cf. Jone Johnson Lewis, "About Ayn Rand" at the About.com Women's History sub-site). [Return to FAQ]

Section 2.5, note 2: Letter dated January 30, 1937, in Letters, p. 40. A more complete version of this quote can also be found on the website of the Ayn Rand Institute. In her letter, Rand states that she does not know what the correct English spelling of the original Finnish name would be. The English spelling is given by Donna Greiner and Theodore Kinni (Ayn Rand and Business, p. 8) as 'Aina,' but an email correspondent has suggested that 'Aino' is the correct version, and cites the Finnish writer Aino Kallas as an example -- possibly the very example from which Rand got the name, since Kallas was an internationally known writer during Rand's youth. This specific connection is unconfirmed, but it is an interesting possibility. As to the correct spelling in English, it appears that Greiner and Kinni simply transliterated the Russian version of the name as given by Rand, which may have been altered (either in the source where Rand got the name, or by Rand herself) to conform to Russian conventions for feminine nouns. [Return to FAQ]

Section 2.5, note 3: Passion, p. 71. The year of the merger for the two companies is noted in the corporate history of Unysis, the successor company of Remington-Rand. The types of equipment manufactured by Rand Kardex (which did not include typewriters) are described in "A History of Kardex Systems, Inc." on the Kardex website. Branden's story is made even more unlikely by the fact that she claims Rand brought the typewriter with her from Russia, where it was already "old" in January 1926. (Passion, p. 60) That Rand's family in Russia knew her name before she arrived in America is reported by the Ayn Rand Institute in its newsletter (Impact, June 2000) and on its website. One letter from the family clearly showing the name 'Ayn Rand' is shown in Sense, p. 71.

Despite thorough debunking in recent years, Branden has stood by the story, and now claims to have heard it from Rand herself as well as from Rand's cousin. Although it would not make the typewriter story any more possible, this account suggests that Rand may have had a hand in spreading it, assuming Branden's recollection is accurate. In any case, the typewriter legend has been repeated so many times that it may be immortal, regardless of its origins or validity. (As a side note, although it is unclear what sort of typewriter Rand might have used in 1926, we do know that she bought a Royal typewriter in 1929. Her letter endorsing the typewriter is in Letters, pp. 285-286.) [Return to FAQ]

Section 2.5, note 4: Jeff Walker, The Ayn Rand Cult, p. 278. In addition to the other difficulties, Walker's theory about Rand's first name requires that her father, an agnostic Russian Jew, had some knowledge of Hebrew. Walker provides no evidence to suggest that he did. Both of Walker's name theories appear to be contrived to connect Rand more closely with her ethnic Jewish heritage, in order to bolster other theories he has about Jewish influences on Rand's thought. [Return to FAQ]

Section 2.5, note 5: One of these media references is John Kobler, "The Curious Cult of Ayn Rand," The Saturday Evening Post 234:45 (November 11, 1961), p. 100. He says 'Rand' is "an Americanization of her maiden name." Another reference, in the New York Evening Post, is mentioned in the ARI newsletter cited in note 3 above, in which Rand herself is apparently quoted as saying, "Rand is an abbreviation of my Russian surname." [Return to FAQ]

Section 2.5, note 6: For example, see the copyright notice for her novel We the Living. [Return to FAQ]

Notes for Section 3 - Career

Section 3.1.2, note 1: "The Simplest Thing in the World" was first published in The Objectivist 6:11 (November 1967), pp. 353-361. It was later reprinted in Rand's essay collection on aesthetics, The Romantic Manifesto. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.1.3, note 1: The original productions of Woman on Trial and Night of January 16th are discussed in Ayn Rand, "Introduction" to Night of January 16th, pp. 6-12, Rand, pp. 41-44, and Passion, pp. 116-125. The revival is also discussed in Passion, pp. 369-372. Rand discusses the various versions of the text in her "Introduction," pp. 13-16. A number of still photographs and poster reproductions for the play are included in Sense, pp. 95-99. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.1.3, note 2: Sense, pp. 101-103; Passion, pp. 150-152, 154-155. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.1.4, note 1: Rand mentions her work on The Conspirators in a letter published in Letters, p. 138. See also David Hayes, "The Conspirators: A Movie Partially Written by Ayn Rand" (online essay). Hayes reviews the movie and speculates about what portions of the script may have retained some influence from Rand. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.1.4, note 2: An edited synopsis of Red Pawn is included in Ayn Rand, The Early Ayn Rand, edited by Leonard Peikoff, pp. 111-169. Peikoff notes that it was her first professional sale in his "Editor's Preface" to the synopsis, p. 107. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.1.4, note 3: Rand's contract work for Hal Wallis is discussed in Passion, pp. 191-193; Rand, pp. 68-69, 71; and Sense, p. 125. Rand mentions her screenplay for The Crying Sisters in a letter to her attorney in Letters, p. 220. Rand's notes for Top Secret are included in Journals, pp. 311-344. House of Mist is included in a list of screenplays by Rand in Rand, p. 128. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.1.4, note 4: Rand, p. 116-118. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.1.4, note 5: Rand's lack of involvement in the movie of Night of January 16th is discussed in Ayn Rand, "Introduction" to Night of January 16th, p. 14, and Passion, p. 124, note 1. Other aspects of the movie production are discussed in Donald Leslie Johnson, The Fountainheads, pp. 55-56. The unauthorized movie of We the Living is discussed in Sense, p. 104, Rand, pp. 65-66, and Passion, p. 317. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.2, note 1: Radical, p. 94, and Passion, p. 55. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.2, note 2: Rand's meeting with DeMille and her work for his studio are described in Sense, pp. 60-62, 76-78, Rand, pp. 33-36, and Passion, pp. 76-78, 82-83. Her odd jobs are discussed in Passion, p. 97. The "bewildering number" quote is from a newspaper interview, reprinted in Speaking, p. 7. Her work in the RKO wardrobe department is discussed in Passion, pp. 93-94, Sense, p. 84, and Rand, pp. 36, 40-41. Her sale of Red Pawn and subsequent resignation from RKO is described in Rand, pp. 40-41, Passion, p. 106, and Sense, p. 93. A brief summary of the work Rand did for various movie studios, including her work as a writer, is available from the Ayn Rand Institute. The 2005 equivalent of Rand's 1932 payment for Red Pawn was determined using an online "Inflation Calculator" from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.2, note 3: Her work as a reader is mentioned in Rand, p. 43, Passion, p. 120m and Michael Berliner's editorial notes in Ayn Rand, Russian Writings on Hollywood, p. 11. Her work in Kazan's office is discussed in Passion, pp. 143-144. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.2, note 4: In most biographical accounts, discussions of Rand's post-Atlas public life are interspersed among descriptions of her other activities during that time. A relatively focused discussion, including a number quotes from Rand's speeches and interviews, can be found in Sense, pp. 159-171. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.3, note 1: Ayn Rand, "A Statement of Policy," The Objectivist, June 1968, p. 471. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.3, note 2: Letter dated December 10, 1961, in Letters, p. 592. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.4, note 1: All sales figures are taken from an Ayn Rand Institute press release, "Sales of Ayn Rand Books Reach 25 million Copies," April 7, 2008. The press release glosses over her earlier struggles, which are discussed in multiple biographies of Rand. [Return to FAQ]

Section 3.4, note 2: For (claims of) the highest overall sales figures, Wikipedia has lists of books and fiction authors. [Return to FAQ]

Notes for Section 4 - Relationships

Section 4.1, note 1: The names of Rand's parents and sisters (along with a number of photos) are provided in Sense, pp. 24-27, and Rand, pp. 2-3. Britting also provides the birth years of Rand's sisters. See also Radical, p. 389, note 1, for more information regarding her parents' names. Anne Heller's Ayn Rand and the World She Made gives the maiden name of Rand's mother as Khana Berkovna Kaplan, saying she was called "Anna". As all other sources give the first name and patronymic as "Anna Borisovna," I have retained that naming pending further investigation. The descriptions of the parent's careers are per Heller's book. Nora's correct given name and date of death is noted in Larry Salzman, "Ayn Rand's Sister, Nora, Dies," Impact (newsletter of the Ayn Rand Institute) 5:10 (October 1999), reprinted in Archives Annual: The Newsletter of the Ayn Rand Archives, Vol. 2 (1999), pp. 12-13. Salzman also describes Rand's failed reunion with her sister. (A variation on this obituary is available as a press release on the Ayn Rand Institute website.) This reunion is also documented in Sense, pp. 172-173, Rand, p. 107, and Passion, pp. 372-377. Letters related to the reunion can be found in Letters, pp. 657, 660-662. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.2, note 1: Rand's first meeting with O'Connor is described in Sense, pp. 72-74, and Passion, pp. 80-81. Their marriage is also described in both (Sense, p. 81; Passion, pp. 92-93). Branden gives the precise dates of O'Connor's birth (p. 84) and death (p. 392). Both authors also discuss his ranch work (Sense, p. 124; Passion, p. 187) and his painting (Sense, p 144; Passion, pp. 281-283). Branden discusses his floral work (p. 254). His work as a florist and as a painter is also discussed in Facets, pp. 45-46, 117-121. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.3, note 1: Karen Minto, "Interview with Barbara Branden," Full Context 11:1 (September/October 1998). [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.4, note 1: Rand's account of the break was published in Ayn Rand, "To Whom It May Concern," The Objectivist 7:5 (May 1968). (Note that although the issue date says "May 1968," this article was actually written in September 1968. The magazine was substantially behind schedule at this time.) The Brandens' responses were circulated jointly as a pamphlet "In Answer to Ayn Rand," which they sent to that magazine's mailing list. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.4, note 2: Nathaniel Branden, My Years with Ayn Rand, pp. 304-305. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.4, note 3: Rand's journal entries are included in James S. Valliant, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critcis, pp. 237 ff. The culmination of Nathaniel Branden's deceptions of Rand was his claim (not revealed in his own memoirs) to have a "sex problem," apparently meaning some type of impotence, since Rand refers to Branden's supposed "renunciation of sex" (p. 278) and his "sexual freeze" (p. 314). This was during a time when Branden was sexually active with his secret mistress. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.4, note 4: Developing a timeline of the events in Rand's relationship with the Brandens is somewhat involved and requires the use of multiple sources. Such a chronology is available at the ORC, and detailed reference citations are provided therein. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.6, note 1: A good general biography of Greenspan is Justin Martin, Greenspan: The Man Behind Money. Greenspan's own take on his life can be found in the first half of The Age of Turbulence. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.6, note 2: R.W. Bradford, "Alan Greenspan -- Cultist?" The American Enterprise 8:5 (September/October 1997) discussed Greenspan's relationship with Rand and whether his views have changed, but reached no specific conclusion. In Ralph Nader, "Greenspan Shrugged," San Francisco Bay Guardian, April 18, 2000, the liberal activist argued that Greenspan continued to follow the "antiregulation philosophy" of his past. In contrast, Objectivist economist Richard Salsman accused Greenspan of "a series of intellectual cave-ins for the sake of maintaining his political standing," and compared him to a villain from one of Rand's novels (Robert Tracinsi, "The Fed vs. Prosperity: An Interview with Richard Salsman," The Intellectual Activist 11:4 [July 1997]). [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.6, note 3: Alan Greenspan, The Age of Turbulence, p. 52. (This longer excerpt includes the comments quoted in the FAQ.) [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.8, note 1: Passion, pp. 386-387. Other difficulties between Rand and the Blumenthals (not related to artistic disagreements) are described by Branden on pp. 382-383, 387-388. It is worth noting that although she discusses the subject prominently, Branden does not claim that the disagreements over art were the immediate cause of the Blumenthals' break with Rand. Other accounts have suggested different reasons for this break. For example, see Virginia L.L. Hamel, In Defense of Ayn Rand, p. 17, where she suggests that the most relevant dispute was related to the moral status of homosexuality. The date given by Branden for the break has also been disputed, with at least one acquaintance of the Blumenthals claiming it occurred in 1977, not 1978. (cf. Ellen Moore, "Misdirection Correction," email to the atlantis@wetheliving.com email list, August 26, 2000) [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.8, note 2: Justin Martin, Greenspan: The Man Behind Money, p. 43. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.8, note 3: Leonard Peikoff, quoted in Betsy Speicher, "Re: How to tell yet another pseudo-Objectivist by their distortions," post to the newsgroup humanities.philosophy.objectivism, April 14, 2001. Several examples of Rand dealing with artistic differences without condemnation are given in Facets, pp. 78-83. See also Eyal Mozes, "Rand's tolerance towards different artistic tastes" (online essay). [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.9, note 1: The correspondence between Wright and Rand, including Rand's initial letter and Wright's comments on The Fountainhead, is documented in Letters, pp. 108-119, and her various interview attempts are discussed in Donald Leslie Johnson, The Fountainheads, pp. 45-47. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.9, note 2: The story of the country home is told in detail in Donald Leslie Johnson, The Fountainheads, pp. 66-70, including a perspective drawing of the proposed house. A close-up of the same drawing (in color) is shown in Sense, p. 113, and also in Rand, p. 77. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.9, note 3: The efforts to pursuade Wright to participate in the movie are detailed in Donald Leslie Johnson, The Fountainheads, pp. 67, 74-75, 79-80, 100-102. Briefer discussions can be found in Sense, p. 134, and Passion, pp. 208-209. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.9, note 4: The relationship between Wright and Rand is the primary subject of Donald Leslie Johnson's The Fountainheads, and is also discussed in Peter Reidy, "Wright and Rand," Navigator 1:11 (July/August 1998). [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.10, note 1: For example, an entry on Rand at the "Annoying or Not" website once casually proclaimed that Rand was bisexual (although the page was subsequently edited to say this was just "rumored"). The claim that she was a lesbian was even raised during a discussion of the original draft of this FAQ. At the time, I dismissed the claim as too "ridiculous" to address. However, since the subject continues to come up occasionally (such as a mention of the claim in Chris Matthew Sciabarra's monograph on Objectivism and homosexuality), I subsequently decided to add it. [Return to FAQ]

Section 4.10, note 2: Although the claim comes up occasionally online or in print articles, no significant biographical work has ever addressed it directly. Even Jeff Walker's The Ayn Rand Cult, which accumulates large amounts of rumor and innuendo about Rand, fails to mention it. The only discussions of the subject by widely recognized Rand experts that I could find were Chris Matthew Sciabarra's Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation, which says there has "never been any evidence" for the claim of Rand's bisexuality, and a summary of a similarly dismissive email exchange between Sciabarra and Barbara Branden. [Return to FAQ]

Notes for Section 5 - Ideas and Education

Section 5.2.1, note 1: Ayn Rand, "Of Living Death" in The Voice of Reason, edited by Leonard Peikoff, pp. 58-59, emphasis in original. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.2, note 1: Ayn Rand, "Patents and Copyrights" in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, p. 131, emphasis in original. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.3, note 1: Both quotes are from a letter dated April 29, 1961 in Letters, p. 559, emphasis in original. A longer excerpt from this letter is available in the Texts section of the ORC. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.3, note 2: Nathaniel Branden, "Intellectual Ammunition Department," The Objectivist Newsletter 2:1 (January 1963), p. 3, emphasis in original. A longer excerpt from this article is available in the Texts section of the ORC. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.4, note 1: Ayn Rand, "Apollo and Dionysus" in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, p. 80; Ayn Rand, "The Comprachicos" in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, p. 237. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.5, note 1: Both answers are transcribed in Ayn Rand Answers, edited by Robert Mayhew, p. 19. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.5, note 2: For information on the sourcing of this quote, and the absence of any written statements on the subject by Rand, see Richard Lawrence, "Ayn Rand on Gun Control: An Investigation" (online essay). [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.5, note 3: Peter Schwartz, "Guns and Knee-jerkism," The Intellectual Activist 2:3 (November 15, 1980). An excerpt from this article is available in the Texts section of the ORC. Despite the official issue date, this issue was actually published in May 1981. Rand strongly endorsed the magazine in a speech delivered on November 21, 1981. It is unlikely that she would have endorsed the magazine if it had recently published an article contrary to her own political views. (The endorsement can be found in Ayn Rand, "The Sanction of the Victim" in The Voice of Reason, p. 157.) [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.6, note 1: Ayn Rand Answers, edited by Robert Mayhew, p. 18. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.6, note 2: Ayn Rand, "The Moratorium on Brains -- Q&A," lecture session taped at the Ford Hall Forum, 1971. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.6, note 3: Harry Binswanger, "Homosexuality," email to the Objectivism Study Group list, December 23, 1991. Barbara Branden, who was close to Rand in the 1950s and 60s, has described the more tolerant view of homosexuality as one Rand would adopt "when she was in an especially good mood," while at other times she was condemnatory. (Barbara Branden, "Existence Exists reply to BB," email to the atlantis@wetheliving.com email list, January 15, 2001.) [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.7, note 1: Ayn Rand, The Art of Nonfiction, edited by Robert Mayhew, p. 120. These lectures were edited into book form after Rand's death. The original lectures have not been checked to confirm whether any changes have been made to this specific passage. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.7, note 2: Ayn Rand, "What Can One Do?" in Philosophy: Who Needs It, pp. 202-203, emphasis in original. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.7, note 3: Letter dated June 20, 1974 in Letters, p. 664. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.7, note 4: Both quotes are taken from "Ayn Rand's Q&A on Libertarians" at the Ayn Rand Institute website. Rand's comments tended to become increasingly harsh over the years, culminating in a 1981 Q&A session in which she referred to libertarians as "a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people."

Section 5.2.7, note 5: Harry Binswanger, "Q&A Department," The Objectivist Forum 2:4 (August 1981), pp. 11-14. Although Rand did not have direct editorial control over the magazine, she did endorse it and served as a "philosophical consultant" to it. Given Rand's own stated attitude towards such endorsements, it is reasonable to conclude that she approved of the content of this article, or else she would have stated her objections in public. For more on Rand's view of anarchism, see her comments about it in "The Nature of Government," reprinted in both The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, and her "Brief Summary" in the September 1971 issue of The Objectivist. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.8, note 1: Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, p. 715. This passage is from Howard Roark's courtroom speech. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.8, note 2: Letter dated March 29, 1964, in Letters, p. 622. Note that this letter is dated prior to the major US Supreme Court decisions on the subject, most significantly Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 decision which some critics claim invented a right to privacy that did not exist previously. Given her comments, Rand presumably would have disagreed with that particular criticism. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.8, note 3: Henry Mark Holzer, "A Statement of Policy -- Part II," The Objectivist 7:6 (June 1968), p. 474. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.9, note 1: Ayn Rand, "Racism" in The Virtue of Selfishness, pp. 147, 156. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.9, note 2: See, for example, Ayn Rand, "Global Balkanization" in The Voice of Reason. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.2.10, note 1: Ayn Rand, "Government Financing in a Free Society" in The Virtue of Selfishness. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.3, note 1: An selection passages about Kant can be found in Harry Binswanger (editor), The Ayn Rand Lexicon, pp. 235-243. Another source that discusses Kant and reflects Rand's views is Leonard Peikoff, The Ominous Parallels. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.3, note 2: The most extensive published critique of Rand's views on Kant is George Walsh, "Ayn Rand and the Metaphysics of Kant," Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 2:1 (Fall 2000). A more sympathetic discussion of Rand's views on Kant is Edward W. Younkins, "Immanuel Kant: Ayn Rand's Intellectual Enemy," SOLO HQ website, posted April 7, 2004. For one theory on how Rand developed her ideas about Kant, see Sciabarra, Radical, pp. 149-153. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.4, note 1: Radical, p. 77. Sciabarra has written a follow-up article, "The Rand Transcript," The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 1:1 (Fall 1999), that details each of the 26 courses Rand took at the university. The article supplies the exact dates of Rand's admission and graduation, and also expands upon and corrects some other material from his book. Rand's college career is also discussed briefly in Sense, pp. 42-44, 48. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.4, note 2: Ayn Rand, Russian Writings on Hollywood, edited by Michael S. Berliner, p. 10. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.5, note 1: Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden, Who Is Ayn Rand?, pp. 164-165, and Passion, p. 42. A portion of the story is also mentioned in Sense, p. 42. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.5, note 2: Radical, pp. 84-91. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.5, note 3: For example, a review of the movie Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life criticizes the film for its "mythologizing," including a repetition of the Lossky story, "despite the well-known recent research of Chris Sciabarra which casts very serious doubts on its truth." R.W. Bradford, "Making Sense of a Life," Liberty 11:5 (May 1998). In an earlier article, Bradford had gone even farther with his critique of the story, calling it "fanciful" and concluding that it was most likely an invention. R.W. Bradford, "The Truth and Ayn Rand," Liberty 9:5 (May 1996), pp. 39-41. Other readers of Sciabarra's book also concluded that it disproved Rand's account. For example, see the review by Nicholas Dykes, Free Life 26 (Dec 1996), p. 22. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.5, note 4: Chris Matthew Sciabarra, "The Rand Transcript," The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 1:1 (Fall 1999). [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.5, note 5: Sciabarra's research on Lossky was originally presented as part of his broader argument about Rand's intellectual development. However, the evidence regarding that one class is neither necessary nor sufficient to prove his broader thesis, as Sciabarra himself has acknowledged (see his response to a group of critics, for example). [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.6, note 1: Rand's revisions to We the Living are discussed in Robert Mayhew, "We the Living: '36 and '59" in Essays on Ayn Rand's We the Living, edited by Robert Mayhew; Ronald Merrill, The Ideas of Ayn Rand, pp. 37-40; and Radical, pp. 100-105. For Anthem, the 50th anniversary edition of that book includes a copy of the original text along with Rand's editing marks. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.6, note 2: Journals. For example, when discussing early plans for a novel (which she later abandoned) Rand paraphrases a passage from Nietzsche and then writes, "This is what my book is going to say," and refers to "what Nietzsche and I think on this subject" (pp. 41-42). She also twice quotes the "noble soul" passage from which this website gets its domain name (pp. 29, 77). In his foreword, Leonard Peikoff refers to the Nietzschean ideas expressed at some points in Rand's journals as "droplets" that "evaporate without residue" in Rand's later thinking (p. ix). In an annotation, Harriman refers to "Nietzscheanism" as "prominent" in her draft of an early, unpublished novel (p. 95). [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.6, note 3: The first quote is from Ayn Rand, "Introduction" to The Fountainhead (25th anniversary edition), p. xii. The second is from "The Ayn Rand Program," WKCR radio, 1965, quoted in Robert Mayhew, "We the Living: '36 and '59" in Essays on Ayn Rand's We the Living, edited by Robert Mayhew, p. 213. Rand also wrote negatively about Nietzsche in her essay "Apollo and Dionysus" in The New Left, and in the title essay of For the New Intellectual. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.6, note 4: Rand's revisions to We the Living, and the general idea that she had a "Nietzschean period," are discussed in Radical, pp. 100-103. Sciabarra ultimately declares the evidence for this idea to be "inconclusive." He discusses the subject further in "A Renaissance in Rand Scholarship," Reason Papers 23 (Fall 1998), but again reaches an ambiguous conclusion. He says that the early Rand "internalized Nietzsche" to the extent that "Nietzsche's voice can be heard" in her writing as late as The Fountainhead, but also writes of her "deep differences" and "discomfort" with Nietzsche's ideas. In contrast, Ronald Merrrill argues that her early writings are "clearly and explicitly Nietzschean" in The Ideas of Ayn Rand, pp. 21-40.

In opposition to the idea of such a phase, Robert Mayhew compares various revised passages from the two editions of We the Living and finds the earlier version to have a "Nietzchean flavor" rather than a "Nietzschean influence." He argues that the earlier passages are often ambiguous and may reflect a lack of philosophical clarity or simply poor choices of expression on the part of the young Rand. She may have accepted (and then later rejected) some specific "Nietzschean ideas," but not enough to "add up to a full-blown Nietzschean 'phase.'" Robert Mayhew, "We the Living: '36 and '59" in Essays on Ayn Rand's We the Living, edited by Robert Mayhew, pp. 205-213. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.7, note 1: The quote is found in "Down with Altruism," Time 75:9 (February 29, 1960), p. 94. Rand's speech was delivered on February 17, 1960, and was entitled "Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World." The published text can be found in Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It. The absence of the comment in the text of the speech does not preclude Rand having made it during a subsequent question and answer session, but it seems more likely that Time took the comment from the Wallace interview discussed below. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.7, note 2: Rand's letter to the editor was reprinted in "Ayn Rand's Letters-to-the-Editor," complied by Michael Berliner, The Intellectual Activist10:2 (March 1996). [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.7, note 3: John Kobler, "The Curious Cult of Ayn Rand," The Saturday Evening Post 234:45 (November 11, 1961), pp. 98-99. Another discussion of the quote is James Baker, Ayn Rand, pp. 18-19. Baker refers to Wallace as a CBS reporter, which might be taken to suggest that this comment was made when Wallace interviewed Rand for television in 1959. However, no such statement occurs during the broadcast portion of the interview, which is available on videotape. Baker describes this statement as "widely quoted in the press," but he cites only the Time article. Somewhat confusingly, Baker's bibliography indicates that she made the "cross" comment during the Yale lecture, even though his main text identifies it as being from an earlier interview. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.7, note 4: Alvin Toffler, "Ayn Rand: A Candid Conversation with the Fountainhead of 'Objectivism,'" Playboy, March 1964, reprinted as a pamphlet by Second Renaissance Books, pp. 9-10. As Rand mentions, the dollar sign is used as a symbol in Atlas Shrugged. The character of John Galt specifically describes it as "the sign of free trade and free minds" during his lengthy radio address in Part 3, Chapter 7 (p. 982). [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.8, note 1: Passion, p. 158. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.8, note 2: Barbara Branden, Who Is Ayn Rand?, pp. 198-200. The same material is largely repeated in Passion, pp. 160-162. Rand refers to her campaign work in a letter dated August 14, 1941, and another dated August 5, 1944, in Letters, pp. 56-57, 154. As an example of her later disillusionment with Willkie, she wrote in 1946, "I think Wendell Willkie did more to destroy the Republican Party than did Roosevelt." (Letters, p. 308) [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.8, note 3: Rand commented on the 1952 and 1956 elections many years later during a question and answer session, transcribed in Ayn Rand Answers, p. 69. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.8, note 4: Rand's criticisms of Kennedy include "The Fascist New Frontier" (speech at the Ford Hall Forum, printed in The Ayn Rand Column); "Who Will Protect Us from Our Protectors?" The Objectivist Newsletter 1:5 (May 1962); "The National Interest, c'est moi," The Objectivist Newsletter 1:6 (June 1962); and "Account Overdrawn," The Objectivist Newsletter 1:7 (July 1962). [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.8, note 5: Quotes from Rand's articles about the Goldwater campaign are provided in the Ayn Rand on Goldwater page in the Texts section. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.8, note 6: Ayn Rand, "The Presidential Candidates, 1968," The Objectivist 7:6 (June 1968). Due to production delays, the actual publication date for this issue was October 1968. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.8, note 7: Ayn Rand, "A Preview - Part III", The Ayn Rand Letter 1:24 (August 28, 1972). Rand's criticisms of Nixon include "The Moratorium on Brains," The Ayn Rand Letter 1:2 (October 25, 1971); "The Shanghai Gesture," The Ayn Rand Letter 1:13 (March 27, 1972); and "Brothers, You Asked For It!" The Ayn Rand Letter 2:14 (April 9, 1973). See also Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand Answers, pp. 59-62. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.8, note 8: Rand's endorsement of Ford and opposition to Reagan can be found in Ayn Rand, "A Last Survey--Part I," The Ayn Rand Letter 4:2 (November-December 1975). Greenspan's appointment and Rand's meeting with Ford are discussed in Passion, pp. 368-369. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.8, note 9: The "capitalism and politics" quote is from a letter dated March 11, 1981, in Letters, p. 667. The "worst kind of conservatism" quote is from Jerry Schwartz, "Interview with Ayn Rand," The Objectivist Forum 1:3 (June 1980), p. 1. That she did not vote in the 1980 election is mentioned in the previously cited letter, and also in Ayn Rand, "The Age of Mediocrity," The Objectivist Forum 2:3 (June 1981), p. 1. See also Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand Answers, pp. 54, 68-71. [Return to FAQ]

Section 5.9, note 1: Justin Raimondo, Introduction to "Mozart Was a Red" by Murray Rothbard. A similar claim is made in Jeff Walker, The Ayn Rand Cult, p. 224. Walker is careful to limit his claim to "the last 30 years of her life," which presumably lets him discount anything Rand read before 1952. [Return to FAQ]

Notes for Section 6 - Miscellaneous Questions

Section 6.1, note 1: Nathaniel Branden, My Years with Ayn Rand, p. 197. References to Leonard Peikoff as Rand's intellectual heir appear in print only occasionally, most notably in an essay where Peikoff refers to himself as Rand's "intellectual and legal heir" ("Fact and Value," The Intellectual Activist 5:1 [May 18, 1989], p. 5). He is also currently described using this term in an FAQ supplied by the Ayn Rand Institute. The application of this term is controversial among Peikoff's critics, who typically argue that he should not be called Rand's intellectual heir because he was never given such a designation by Rand, or because he is not worthy of it, or both. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.2, note 1: Leonard Peikoff, quoted in Sense, p. 34. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.2, note 2: Passion, p. 239. Leonard Peikoff describes a similar scene occurring some 20 years later, in "My Thirty Years with Ayn Rand" in The Voice of Reason, p. 352. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.3, note 1: Nathaniel Branden, My Years with Ayn Rand, p. 306; Karen Reedstrom, "Interview with Nathaniel Branden," Full Context 9:1 (September 1996). [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.3, note 2: Passion, p. 173, note 1. Another brief discussion of this subject, which is the only noteworthy account to suggest that Rand abused the pills, appears in Jeff Walker, The Ayn Rand Cult, pp. 267-268. Walker quotes people who didn't even know Rand, such as Jack Wheeler, repeating gossip they heard from others. His "information" on this, as on many subjects, was apparently chosen for scandal value rather than reliability, and may be discounted accordingly. Regarding the biases in Walker's accounts, see the ORC review of his book and the other reviews linked therein. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.4, note 1: Ayn Rand, "Why I Like Stamp Collecting" in The Ayn Rand Column, p. 124. This essay was originally published in the Minkus Stamp Journal 6:2 (Spring 1971). Her stamp collecting is also discussed in Facets, pp. 55-62. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.4, note 2: John Kobler, "The Curious Cult of Ayn Rand," The Saturday Evening Post 234:45 (November 11, 1961), p. 100; Facets, p. 132. Rand's study of algebra is discussed in Passion, p. 399. Branden also mentions Rand's Scrabble playing (p. 389). [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.5, note 1: Rand's cats, especially Frisco, are discussed in Facets, pp. 40-42. Other cats referred to are Ali (p. 91) and Thunderbird (p. 126). There are also some stories involving Rand's cats in Passion, with specific mentions of Turtle Cat (pp. 149, 185) and Frisco (pp. 251, 389). The cat called "Junior" is mentioned by Steve Reed, "Would YOU pay this much?" email to the atlantis@wetheliving.com email list, August 25, 1999. Reed's cited sources were a postcard from Ayn Rand, addressed to Daryn Kent and dated "8/4/66," and personal correspondence from Daryn Kent (date not cited). [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.6, note 1: Nathaniel Branden, "A Report to Our Readers -- 1965," The Objectivist Newsletter 4:12 (December 1965), p. 57. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.6, note 2: The news of Peikoff's dispute with the Library first appeared in Bob Pool, "Donor of Ayn Rand Manuscript, U.S. Are Not on the Same Page," Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2002. Peikoff has since placed his own account of the dispute on his website. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.6, note 3: An account of this dispute (which is somewhat negative towards Peikoff) can be found in Eric D. Dixon, "Fighting Over Ayn Rand's Papers," Liberty 8:3 (March 1999). The auction itself, including the specific papers sold, is described in R.W. Bradford, "The Selling of Ayn Rand's Papers," Liberty 8:3 (March 1999). [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.7, note 1: The account of 'Miss' and 'Mrs.' in the FAQ is offered solely to explain why Rand is referred to as "Miss Rand," not as a comprehensive history of how these titles have been used. Like many cultural conventions, the use of these titles has evolved through several stages, and was not entirely consistent among all people at any given time in history. At various times and places, 'Miss' has been considered derogatory, 'Mrs.' has been used for unmarried women, etc. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.9, note 1: The religious attitudes of Rand's parents are described in Rand, p. 3. Regarding Rand's attitude towards her family's religious background, see Passion, p. 6. Her youthful conversion to atheism is described in Rand, p. 16, and Sense, p. 39. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.10, note 1: Harry Binswanger, "To the Reader," The Objectivist Forum 3:1 (February 1982), p. 1. See also Sense, p. 184, Rand, p. 118, and Passion, pp. 402-403. [Return to FAQ]

Section 6.10, note 2: Rand's lung cancer is discussed in Passion, pp. 379-385, and Rand, p. 108. (It is also mentioned in a number of other places, such as Ronald Merrill, The Ideas of Ayn Rand, p. 147, but it is likely that these authors got their information from Branden rather than from an independent source.) Both Branden and Britting indicate that Rand had surgery to treat the cancer, and that her death several years later was from heart problems. Rand did not reveal in public that she had cancer, but she did refer to an unspecified "illness" in The Ayn Rand Letter. In the issue dated August 12, 1974, she said that "the operation was a complete success." [Return to FAQ]

Notes for Section 7 - Sources for More Information

Section 7.1, note 1: Since her break with Rand, Barbara Branden has been somewhat critical of her own work in this book, saying that it "was written in good faith, but in a spirit of uncritical adulation." (Passion, p. 313, note 2) [Return to FAQ]

Section 7.1, note 2: Nathaniel Branden has suggested that he was concerned about "possible inaccuracies" before his ex-wife's book was even published (Judgment Day, p. 4). He also explicitly or implicitly contradicts her account a number of times. James S. Valliant provides a detailed review of inconsistencies and implausibilities in the accounts of both Brandens in The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics. Other criticisms include David P. Hayes, "Biography 'The Passion of Ayn Rand' Is an Inaccurate Chronicle" (online essay, previously published in abridged form in Objectively Speaking, December 1988), and Virginia L.L. Hamel, In Defense of Ayn Rand. [Return to FAQ]

Section 7.1, note 3: For criticism of Harriman's editing, see Chris Matthew Sciabarra, "Bowdlerizing Ayn Rand," Liberty 7:1 (September 1998), and Stephen Cox, "The Evolution of Ayn Rand," Liberty 11:6 (July 1998). [Return to FAQ]

Section 7.1, note 4: For example, Tuccille writes that Bennett Cerf refused a request by Rand to include a speech criticizing President Kennedy in For the New Intellectual, which led Rand to leave Random House for another publisher (p. 82). In fact, Rand's dispute with Cerf related to a different book that was never published. For the New Intellectual was published by Random House in 1961, before Rand had even written her speech about Kennedy. The details of Rand's break with Random House are clearly stated in Passion, pp. 320-322. Rand also wrote a long letter to Cerf about the book dispute, which is published in Letters, pp. 617-621. If Tuccille doubted these sources, the date and original publisher of For the New Intellectual are readily available from any copy of that book, and the date of Rand's speech about Kennedy can be found by looking at the first page of the printed text in The Ayn Rand Column, p. 75.

Other glaring mistakes include a claim that Greenspan wrote an article on antitrust laws for the September 1961 issue of The Objectivist Newsletter (that magazine did not begin publication until 1962, and Greenspan's paper on antitrust laws was never published in it), and a misrepresentation of the timing of a health problem that Rand experienced in the 1970s (Tuccille places it in the 1980s). These errors can be found on pages 84 and 140, respectively. Tuccille's "Notes" section, which presumably ought to clarify the sources for his (mis)information, sometimes adds new mistakes. For instance, after correctly quoting comments from Rand about homosexuality, Tuccille's notes for the chapter say he got this information "from her own writings." (p. 272) In fact, Rand never wrote about the subject, and the comments Tuccille quotes are from a question and answer session after one of Rand's speeches. [Return to FAQ]

Section 7.1, note 5: To give one simple example of Tuccille's penchant for fictionalizing events, a retrospective on the life of activist Mary Frohman discusses how "Tuccille transmogrified Mary the anarcho-leftist into a hard-core Objectivist." Frohman reportedly considered suing Tuccille for libel. The author sums up It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand nicely as "entertaining but unreliable." Jesse Walker, "American Anarchist: The life of Mary Frohman," Reason Online, June 9, 2005. Although Walker writes with 30 years of historical perspective, the satirical nature of Tuccille's "history" was recognized immediately, for example in a review that acknowledged it to be "a novelist's satiric and hilarious reconstruction" and "not the literal truth." "Libertarian Wit," The Libertarian Forum 3:10 (November 1971), p. 8. [Return to FAQ]

Section 7.3, note 1: Ayn Rand, "Foreword" to We the Living (revised edition), p. ix. [Return to FAQ]




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