Some of you may recall a project we mentioned here in 2006 called “Founder’s College,” which was backed by Objectivists. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a recent article about what eventually became of the college. It is not inspiring.
As an update to the news in our earlier post, in response to John McCaskey’s resignation from the Ayn Rand Institute and The Anthem Foundation, The Intellectual Activist‘s Robert Tracinski has published “Anthemgate,” Paul and Diana Hsieh published “The Resignation of John McCaskey: The Facts,” and The Objective Standard‘s Craig Biddle has just published “Justice for John P. McCaskey.”
John McCaskey, founder of the Anthem Foundation and a longtime member of the Ayn Rand Institute’s board of directors, has resigned from both organizations.
From reader Caroline Johnson:
An original Ayn Rand manuscript will be up for auction at Sotheby’s New York on Friday, June 18 at 10:00 AM. This is the first major original Rand manuscript to come to auction in many years, and Sothebys has noted that handwritten Rand manuscripts of this size are rare at auction.
This work is Rand’s manuscript for her first speech at Ford Hall Forum, “The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age,” delivered on March 26, 1961.
Ed Snider, perhaps best known as owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, is starting a new cable network called RightNetwork, which will compete with Fox News while focusing on entertainment rather than news.
Snider has long been a supporter of Rand-related causes, as he talks about in this 2007 speech.
Hat-tip to Don Hauptman for the link.
For anyone who missed the “Atlas Shrugged” episode of Stossel, it’s now available online via Hulu.
Ever wonder how the nonprofit Ayn Rand Institute is doing in these economically challenging times? The answer is: Better than ever, thank you very much.
The review itself often seems more about what Sandefur thinks of Rand than about what Heller wrote, so I found it hard to divine much from this review. But it does sound like the new biography will provide worthwhile reading for those of us fascinated by Rand’s writing and thinking.
Here were Sandefur’s key observations about the biography:
Anne Hellerâ??s biography doesnâ??t pull punches. She is as honest and as objective and as forthright as Randâ??s own principles would demand. She pays Rand the compliment of treating her like a serious person who deserves respect, praise, criticism and blame. She goes out of her way to explain statements by Rand that are easily misunderstood and frequently misrepresentedâ??and she rightly criticizes her regrettable traits and expressions. Her book is meticulouslyâ??indeed, very surprisinglyâ??well researched. It is a story of serious, devoted, brilliant, talented, and flawed people. It is not the dreary finger-pointing weâ??ve seen too much of in the past decadesâ??Nathaniel Branden hardly comes off as the innocent victim hereâ??but a work of serious, yet sympathetic journalism. In the end, it is deeplyâ?¦one might say romanticallyâ?¦tragic. [...]
Whatâ??s great about Hellerâ??s book isnâ??t that it reveals more facts than Barbara Brandenâ??s biographyâ??although it does; there are many interesting new detailsâ??or that it is so well written; itâ??s that Ayn Rand And The World She Made is so honest, so, in a word, objective. Rand is a real person to Anne Hellerâ??a brilliant, clever, sometimes over-the-top writer; an astonishingly original thinker with, alas, too little education in the history of philosophy; a passionate, intense, idealist who, sadly, imposed such a weird rigor on herself and others as to leave her dark and alone at the end; a woman who believedâ??and rightly soâ??in the indomitability of the mind and its capacity for greatness, but who was capable of breaking long friendships over trivialities, fudging the nature of her marriage, and watching hours of game shows and Charlieâ??s Angels. [...]
Hellerâ??s book does have its flaws. I think she tries too hard to show a Jewish or a Russian influence on Randâ??possible, but hardly a major influence, I thinkâ??and she sometimes slightly oversimplifies Randâ??s views in a way that will play into the hands of her eager detractors. For instance, Heller writes that Randâ??s philosophy is basically an elaboration on Randâ??s childhood desire to get â??what I want.â? Well, of course, itâ??s not just about doing what you feelâ??as Heller acknowledges elsewhere in the bookâ??but Rand certainly would say that â??what you wantâ? is and must be important to you, and that a world that denies you â??what you wantâ? simply because you want it is a profoundly evil one.
These are very minor quibbles with an otherwise outstanding bookâ??written just as a biography ought to be. Itâ??s the best book Iâ??ve read so far this year and I very highly recommend it.
I will see if I can line up a review soon for readers of the Atlasphere columns.