Ayn Rand and the World She Made

  • by Anne C. Heller
  • Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
  • 19 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ayn Rand is the author of two phenomenally best-selling ideological novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, which have sold over 12 million copies in the United States alone. Through them, she built a right-wing cult following in the late 1950s and became the guiding light of Libertarianism and of White House economic policy in the 1960s and '70s. Her defenses of radical individualism and of selfishness as a "capitalist virtue" have permanently altered the American cultural landscape.

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What the Critics Say

"This objective account of the Objectivist Rand will interest her still large and devoted readership." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great history of both Rand and her era

In short, this is not merely a history of Rand, but also a lovely portrayal of the "high level" history of the 30's through the 60's. Roosevelt, New Deal, Anti-semitism, Conservatives, were all nightmares for Rand.

Of particular interest to me, was her relationship with Isabel Patterson, author of "God in the Machine." Of course, at the end of the day Rand would have nothing to do with mysticism of ANY sort, which eventually broke the decades long friendship.

Ont to the book itself. It is well written with an engaging style. Heller, is an ecellent historian and put years of research into this effort. I judge her treatment and presentation as fair and balanced. She presents the greatness and genius of Rand along with her deep psychological wounds, which from my understanding dogged her over her entire life. Nevertheless it is an inspiring book in both the positive and negative sense. Positively inspiring because Heller clearly paints an individual who knew who she was -- i.e. her "values" -- and who overcame amazing odds and actually accomplished what SHE set out to do -- to become an independent writer. Negatively inspiring, in that it serves as a lesson for us all that even geniuses need to always be aware they are not believing their own BS.

Ironically, being that "evasion" in Objectivist circles is similar to "unpardonable sin", Rand herself was not immune to psychological dysfunction. Towards the end, all she retained around her were people who jumped when she said frog, and this in both my and the author's opinion was her achilles heel. People, especially geniuses, should not purposely choose a cadre of sycophants as their primary support group. We all need to be challenged, especially the more "forceful" the personality.

Regarding the narrator, Bernadette Dunne, I think she is now my favorite. Her voice is clear and crisp, and she does not merely "read" but is talented at capturing the emotional context of the author's meaning.
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- Mark

Ayn Rand Unabridged

There have been about a dozen or so books on the life and thought of this incredible woman including personal memoirs from her intimate associates and a biography or two. Anne Heller's new book is easily the most comprehensive and (pardon the pun) objective history of an amazing life. Her life story is as controversial and inspiring as her books and it's all to be found in this powerful and mesmerizing work. Heller's vivid and colorful writing lends itself perfectly to the audio book format and all the drama is there in Bernadette Dunne's wonderful narration. Ayn Rand was a wonderful writer and prodigious thinker who showed enormous courage and determination in the service of an insatiable ambition. Her ideas and the philosophical system she created have lost none of their importance or relevancy. Anyone interested in Rand will find this work enormously interesting and entertaining; one of the few books you never want to end.
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- Anthony Freyberg

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-27-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.