Hojotoho! Hojotoho!

What is it about Ayn Rand that so fascinates her enemies as well as her admirers? Her two major novels, Atlas Shrugged (1957) and The Fountainhead (1943), are enduring pillars of popular culture. Her paeans to egoism make Nietzsche look like a piker, and, quite unlike that sickly aesthete, she had a life as dramatic and eventful as a Wagnerian opera, and there was about her the air of a Valkyrie. Some 15 years after her death. Rand has become the object of renewed attention. While the critics have always hated Rand and academia shunned her, ordinary people who do not know what is good for them buy over half a million copies of her books each year. Anything with her name on it is money in the bank for publishers, authors, and hawkers of Rand memorabilia, and lately the market has been going up. It was inevitable that Hollywood would get in on the action, and two Rand films have already been made, including a Showtime movie entitled The Passion of Ayn Rand, scheduled for release before this issue of Chronicles hits the stands. The movie is based on the part-hagiographic, part-hateful, and entirely self-serving memoir of her ex-disciple, Barbara Branden, who recently turned a cool million-plus by auctioning off her collection of Rand memorabilia. In true Randian fashion, her ex-husband, Nathaniel Branden, once Rand's chief disciple, has engaged in none-too-friendly competition with Barbara to see who can...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here