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Detail of Biography - Alice Rosenbaum
Name :
Alice Rosenbaum
Date :
Views :
319
Category :
Birth Date :
02/02/1905
Birth Place :
St Petersburg,
Death Date :
March 6, 1982
Biography - Alice Rosenbaum
[b]Paving her own way[/b][br /]
[br /]


In 1921, her family returned to St Petersburg (now Petrograd). Alice had graduated by that time from high school. She entered the University of Leningrad at 16. Instead of pursuing mathematics, which offered some advancement, she startled her family by choosing to study history and philosophy. With her study of philosophy, her beliefs were strongly affected by Aristotle, who believed; 'that there is only one reality, the one that man perceives…and that his mind is his only tool of knowledge.'[br /]
[br /]


Graduating from college in 1924, Alice enrolled at a school of screenwriters, the State Institute for Cinema Arts and in 1925, took up a job as a museum guide. Soon, she developed flair for the world of stage and film. The world of films brought with itself scenes of bright lights and foreign cities and Alice was deeply moved by this. It opened up new avenues of interest and imagination for her. A fantasyland was shaping up in her mind and she started looking for the ways to realize her dreams. This does not mean that she was a romanticist forming an ideal world, this Alice did not want to lose herself in her fantasyland, rather she wanted to discover it and try herself the pros and cons that it would offer. We can see the reflection of her utopia in her great novel Atlas Shrugged.[br /]
[br /]


[b]The Land of Opportunity[/b][br /]
[br /]


An opportunity popped up almost immediately. In the same year, her mother wrote to her relatives in Chicago and asked if her daughter could visit them in the states, they agreed. Things started falling in right squares. Alice was going to visit the land of her fantasy, where things would be totally different from her homeland and where she would be able to live her dreams.[br /]
[br /]


Amazingly, even the Russian government granted her a passport. She told authorities in Russia that her visit would be a short one, but in her mind and heart she was resolute about never returning to Russia. [br /]
[br /]

[b]New 'Avatar'[/b][br /]
[br /]


On her way to the west she changed her first name to Ayn, - the name of a Finnish author she admired, and soon after arriving would
change her name to Rand, which was taken from the Remington Rand on her typewriter. [br /]
[br /]

Thus, the 'exodus to freedom happened'.[br /]

The next part of Ayn's life involved many years of menial labor as she struggled to become a published author. She spent a few days in New York with relatives and went to see her first movie in America. Ayn then departed for Chicago to spend next six months with relatives there. One in particular owned a movie theatre, which she visited almost daily. To improve her English Language skills, she began to write movie scripts. Within those six months she came to know the intricacies of the American culture and society. Those six months proved to be the base for her future writings.[br /]
[br /]


She came in contact with a film distributor, who gave her a letter of recommendation to the De Mille Studios. She procured a loan of $100 from her relatives and boarded a train to Hollywood. In Hollywood, she rented a room at Studio Club Apartments - a residence for young women who hoped to make careers in film industry. This was the place which had housed people like Pringer Rogers, Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak.[br /]
[br /]
[br /]

[b]A Revolution in Making[/b][br /]
[br /]


Ever since the genesis of earth, the spirit of man has been the fountainhead of mankind's success. Right from Noah, the sailor who saved civilization from the 'Great Flood', till date, it has been the human force that has worked wonders. All that we are today is a gift of human endeavor. There is a greatness of human spirit that is indomitable. It is the glorification and appraisal of this human spirit that is the pivot of Ayn Rand's life.[br /]
[br /]


Alice Rosenbaum, better known as Ayn Rand, was born on February 2, 1905, in St Petersburg, Russia to a middle class Jewish businessman Zinovy Zacharovich and his wife Anna. Zinovy Zacharovich was a successful pharmacist in St Petersburg. Alice grew up in a non-religious home with her two sisters Natasha and Nora.[br /]
[br /]


Alice adored her father as an honorable and principled man. Her mother, Anna considered herself an intellectual and attended many lectures and theatrical productions. She often commented to Alice that raising children was a 'hateful duty', but was concerned and attentive to her family needs.[br /]
[br /]


Alice was closer to her father. The simple reason being that she found her father and herself intellectually compatible.[br /]
[br /]


Being an autodidact, she taught herself to read at the age of six. Doing this, she found her first image of a heroine in herself. Unlike her sisters Natasha and Nora, Alice had little interest in children's stories and preferred reading young boy's magazines filled with tales of heroes, achievers, and adventures.[br /]
[br /]

[b]Finding the Direction[/b][br /]
[br /]


In 1913, i.e. at the age of eight, she discovered her first fictional hero in a French magazine. The character was 'Cyrus', a character from The Mysterious Valley, who defeated an Indian Raja's attempt to overthrow British rule. Cyrus became her ideal man, a man in complete control of himself and his destiny and triumphant over forces beyond man's control. This hero's heroic flourish blessed her with a heroic vision, which sustained her throughout life. At the age of nine, Alice decided to make fiction[br /]
[br /]


writing her career. The very next year she began trying to write novels.[br /]
[br /]

[b]The Turmoil[/b][br /]
[br /]


Life was moving smoothly for her when all of a sudden Alice's life was thrust into chaos and confusion. After living comfortably under the Czar, Russia went spinning from Monarchy to Democracy to Communism during her 13th year.[br /]
[br /]


Once the Bolshevik began its reign of power, Alice found herself in poverty as her father's business was nationalized for the 'new society'. This turbulence of fortune metamorphosed her physically and intellectually and Alice argued that the most repugnant of Marxist doctrine was secular altruism that professed the sacrifice of the individual to the common good.[br /]
[br /]


In 1918, Russia surrendered to Germany, a Civil War began and Alice's family fled to Crimea where she discovered the works and heroes of Victor Hugo. About Hugo she later reflected by saying : "Victor Hugo is my favorite writer in all world literature, not for the content of his ideas, but for his literary method, and he is the only writer who had some influence on my style of writing."[br /]
[br /]

[b]Paving her own way[/b][br /]
[br /]


In 1921, her family returned to St Petersburg (now Petrograd). Alice had graduated by that time from high school. She entered the University of Leningrad at 16. Instead of pursuing mathematics, which offered some advancement, she startled her family by choosing to study history and philosophy. With her study of philosophy, her beliefs were strongly affected by Aristotle, who believed; 'that there is only one reality, the one that man perceives…and that his mind is his only tool of knowledge.'[br /]
[br /]


Graduating from college in 1924, Alice enrolled at a school of screenwriters, the State Institute for Cinema Arts and in 1925, took up a job as a museum guide. Soon, she developed flair for the world of stage and film. The world of films brought with itself scenes of bright lights and foreign cities and Alice was deeply moved by this. It opened up new avenues of interest and imagination for her. A fantasyland was shaping up in her mind and she started looking for the ways to realize her dreams. This does not mean that she was a romanticist forming an ideal world, this Alice did not want to lose herself in her fantasyland, rather she wanted to discover it and try herself the pros and cons that it would offer. We can see the reflection of her utopia in her great novel Atlas Shrugged.[br /]
[br /]


[b]The Land of Opportunity[/b][br /]
[br /]


An opportunity popped up almost immediately. In the same year, her mother wrote to her relatives in Chicago and asked if her daughter could visit them in the states, they agreed. Things started falling in right squares. Alice was going to visit the land of her fantasy, where things would be totally different from her homeland and where she would be able to live her dreams.[br /]
[br /]


Amazingly, even the Russian government granted her a passport. She told authorities in Russia that her visit would be a short one, but in her mind and heart she was resolute about never returning to Russia. [br /]
[br /]

[b]New 'Avatar'[/b][br /]
[br /]


On her way to the west she changed her first name to Ayn, - the name of a Finnish author she admired, and soon after arriving would[br /]

change her name to Rand, which was taken from the Remington Rand on her typewriter.
Thus, the 'exodus to freedom happened'.[br /]

The next part of Ayn's life involved many years of menial labor as she struggled to become a published author. She spent a few days in New York with relatives and went to see her first movie in America. Ayn then departed for Chicago to spend next six months with relatives there. One in particular owned a movie theatre, which she visited almost daily. To improve her English Language skills, she began to write movie scripts. Within those six months she came to know the intricacies of the American culture and society. Those six months proved to be the base for her future writings.[br /]
[br /]


She came in contact with a film distributor, who gave her a letter of recommendation to the De Mille Studios. She procured a loan of $100 from her relatives and boarded a train to Hollywood. In Hollywood, she rented a room at Studio Club Apartments - a residence for young women who hoped to make careers in film industry. This was the place which had housed people like Pringer Rogers, Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak.[br /]
[br /]

[b]In Love[/b][br /]
[br /]


On September 4, she visited the DeMille Studio, for an interview but was informed that there were no jobs available. On a chance meeting while walking across the studio, Cecil B DeMille took notice of this young dark eyed woman and struck up a conversation. He invited Ayn onto the set of The King of Kings and arranged for her to become an extra in several scenes. Later, DeMille Later hired her as a junior screenwriter.[br /]
[br /]


At this time she met an aspiring actor, Charles Francis 'Frank' O'Connor. A tall fair man of Irish descent, she described him of having an 'ideal face'. For Ayn, it was 'love at first sight'. Later in life she was tempted to put him on cover of one of her novels saying… "All my heroes will be reflections of Frank."
Frank and Ayn dated for next few years and married on April 15, 1929, before the final extension of her visa expired…becoming the wife of an American. She thus, became a naturalized citizen of the USA in 1931.[br /]
[br /]

[b]The Trying Times[/b][br /]
[br /]


Frank turned his back on film acting in 1934 and did not return to the screen. The O'Connors moved to New York and were rooted there since.[br /]

Ayn Rand was pursuing a throbbing career in writing there. The period can proudly boast of the best of Ayn Rand writings in publication. Their marriage was a partnership whose long existence was in itself the reward for their venture. They would often be seen holding hands, and using pet names for each other. Frank called Ayn 'Kitten fluff' and Ayn called him 'cubbyhole'.[br /]
[br /]


Ayn and Frank had always been very close, despite difficult times during Ayn's affair with Nathaniel Branden. In 1950 Rand met a college student named Natham Blumenthal, who became a member of her discussion group, 'The Class of '43' that met to critique Rand's works in progress. In 1954 Rand and Blumenthal (then known as Nathaniel Branden) declared that they had fallen in love. Rand's next novel, Atlas Shrugged, was dedicated jointly to O'Connor and Branden. But gradually, the unlikely affair lost its charm and was soon forgotten. However, Branden established an institute to advocate her ideas.[br /]
[br /]

[b]Ayn Unpartnered[/b][br /]
[br /]

The O'Connors had seen the tides and ebbs of their relationship. They had faced together the ups and downs of life and career. Like any other mortal being, this couple also had to face the nearing end of their companionship. The moment arrived quietly. In 1978, Frank began showing signs of arterial sclerosis with some memory loss and disorientation. Frank O'Connor died in November 1979, at the age of 82. The loss of Frank devastated Ayn and she sunk into a deep depression. She eventually dragged herself out of it and resumed her work by writing a television script for a TV mini series of Atlas Shrugged. [br /]
[br /]

[b]Final Address From The Podium[/b][br /]
[br /]


Her last lecture was in New Orleans in late 1981.[br /]
[br /]


In the summer of 1981, Ayn received a message that was to bring her, at last, a value from the outside world that was in her terms. The message was from James U Blanchard, founder and chairman of the National Committee for Monetary Reform. In the November of 1981, NCMR was to hold its annual conference in New Orleans for businessmen, bankers, financial consultants, entrepreneurs, investors, industrialists, economists, mutual fund managers, and other in the financial world.[br /]
[br /]


"I wanted Ayn Rand to be our featured speaker,' Jim said. 'But, I had been asking her to appear for about four years…there was never an answer to my letters… I wrote again, saying that I would arrange for her to travel to New Orleans in a private rail car, with a butler and a gourmet chef. She accepted…And then I faced problems of finding a private car ! I called around desperately for days, until I located Ray Thorpe, president of the Private Rail Car Association. When I told him what I wanted, he said, 'Fantastic ! Ayn Rand changed my whole life, I love her books. I'll give her my own private car and my personal chef. Ask her to form a list of her favorite food so the chef can prepare them.'[br /]
[br /]


"I wanted her to have fun of the train ride,' Jim continued, 'and to be where she would be appreciated and would see how many people she had affected - I had a feeling that she didn't realize the depth of her influence."[br /]
[br /]


Ayn Rand did not realize the depth of her influence. Her reclusive life and her disinterest in the world outside her doors had prevented her from learning that her ideas were in fact becoming a respected and astonishingly potent part of the culture of which she had despaired; that objectivism was taught in class-rooms across the country; that books and scholarly articles expanding aspects of her philosophy were pouring out of the presses in a growing stream; that men and women influential in government, in the arts, in the sciences, in industry and finance were carrying her standard because it was their own.[br /]
[br /]


Ayn Rand arrived in New Orleans after a two and a half-day's journey. Her eyes were glowing. The trip was hard and rocky but she had loved it.[br /]
[br /]


More than 4000 people attended Ayn's speech. "When she got up on the stage,' Jim recalled, 'the audience stood up and gave her a standing ovation - and her speech was constantly interrupted by applause. They loved her."[br /]
[br /]

Ayn's speech, entitled 'The Sanction of the Victim', was a tour de force. Its theme was that the producers, who carry the world on their shoulders and keep it alive, are being destroyed by their acceptance of the morality of altruism. They accept all the insults and materialism hurled against them, instead of proudly asserting their moral rights to the profit they earn. The speech ended with a quote from John Galt:[br /]
[br /]


"The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours. But to win it requires total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence, which is man, for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of life and yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth."[br /]
[br /]


The applause was unending outburst of gratitude and love from members of a group that had never before received a moral sanction. Ayn stood, thunderstruck listening to the wild unbridled cheering as the audience leaped to its feet. She had not imagined the extent of her power nor expected the tide of passionate admiration that flowed to her from the audience.[br /]
[br /]


'Good doesn't go till infinity' becomes cliched in Ayn's case because she continues to live even after she's gone.[br /]
[br /]

[b]The Exit[/b][br /]
[br /]


By the time the train brought Ayn back to New York from New Orleans, Ayn sustained on her energy from the excitement over her triumph. But this did not go on forever. She fell ill.[br /]
[br /]


It became evident that she had started descending the hill and time added pace to her descent downhill. In February 1982, she was hospitalized with cardiopulmonary problems.[br /]
[br /]


Ayn confronted death - the ultimate reality, with a greater zeal than she had faced life. Facts had never frightened her; they did not frighten her even then. She proclaimed; 'It is not I who will die, it is the world that will end'. Her world was nearing end.[br /]
[br /]


Early in March, Ayn said, 'I want to go home.' 'I want to die at home.' She was moved to her apartment where she had lived with Frank. She grew progressively weaker and her valiant heart began to fail. Ayn Rand breathed her last on the morning of March 6, 1982.[br /]
[br /]

[b]The World Was Dead[/b][br /]
[br /]


The New York Times wrote : "Ayn's body lay next to the symbol she had adopted as her own - a six foot dollar sign. Outside her funeral home, her followers, some clad in jeans and some enveloped in fur stood and shivered in the cold waiting patiently to pay her their last regards".[br /]
[br /]


From 7 to 9 O'clock Monday night, 800 admirers of the novelist and philosopher passed through the Frank E Campbell Funeral Home at Madison Avenue and 81st street. Some spoke with tears in eyes and some whispered in poignant tones. There were some who glowed with radiance as they described how she had transformed their lives.[br /]
[br /]


The gathering at her funeral home reflected Ayn Rand's influence in political, economic and intellectual spheres. There was Allen Greenspan, chairman of President Ford's Council of economic advisers; also present was Robert M Bleiberg, editorial director of Baron's magazine; many a leaders of the Libertarian Party; and professors of Philosophy, business management and psychology at schools from Vassar College to York University in Toronto.[br /]
[br /]


Ayn's body lay in an open coffin. The gold ring that Frank had placed on her finger on an April day in 1929 was still there. Frank's photograph lay on her breast, it was to be buried with her. The sound of music, which echoed through the room, was not a heroic symphony but a piece of music she had always loved.[br /]
[br /]

The word of Ayn's death spread, it was announced on the front page of newspapers all over the world. She received the epithet of Novelist Philosopher. Throughout America and in cities dotted across the map from Canada to India to Israel, groups of her admirers held memorials on college campuses, in private homes, in parks and everywhere. They spoke of their love for her and their grief, they spoke of her achievements and all the gifts Ayn Rand had showered on the human race.[br /]
[br /]


The private burial was held at Valhalla. Two hundred people stood on a rolling hill by the graveside as huge snowflakes drifted from heaven to envelop the earth and the coffin and the bare white branches of trees. The day resembled her first day in America, when floating snowflakes mingled with tears to express the sheer joy of reaching the destination of her dreams. At the time of her


burial, snowflakes again mingled with the tears, this time of the mourners who had come to bid farewell to this epitome of free spirit.[br /]
[br /]

Slowly her coffin was lowered beside Frank's, each of the mourners paid floral tributes. A question that every mind bore was; "Is it the end or the beginning"?[br /]
[br /]


Was grief appropriate ? Her life had something never seen before nor even heard or read of. She began life with a single passionate goal - to create her ideal world and her ideal man.[br /]
[br /]


At the end of her life - despite the odds against her, despite the pain and the losses, illness and anguish and death - it was done. Her passionate goal attainted. Perhaps, it is for the rest of the mankind that one should grieve.[br /]
[br /]


Ayn Rand would travel to the paradise assigned to heroes who were slain in battles. All their due Laurels awaiting them…[br /]
[br /]

[b]A Visit To Her Grave[/b][br /]
[br /]


Two pale grey stones stood side by side, joined from back by a narrower strip of stone, near a maple tree and swaying leaves of a mourning willow.[br /]
[br /]


One stone was engraved; [br /]

FRANK O' CONNOR, 1897 - 1979 [br /]

ON THE OTHER;[br /]

AYN RAND O' CONNOR, 1905 - 1982[br /]
[br /]


The two of them lying side by side, continuing an unending partnership in their humble abode of peace.[br /]
[br /]
[br /]

The earth has, ever since it's origin, witnessed phenomena. Ayn Rand was one such phenomenon, with an air of uniqueness all around her. Very few novelists are known to possess a philosophy that could entertain a learned race. As a novelist, she forces you to ruminate and think hard. She takes you down the memory lane of life and brings forth a balance sheet whose two columns are 'life lived' and 'life wasted'. Every creation of her, be it Howard Roark or John Galt has an immense manhood. Readers experience it while gliding down the pages of her creations.[br /]
[br /]


Her characters are not impossible beings. All of us have them in ourselves but we never delve deep inside ourselves to discover them.[br /]
[br /]


For those who have lost everything at a turn in pitch and toss, the suggested creative is - [b]Ayn Rand[/b].[br /]
[br /]
[br /]

[b]February 2, 1905[/b] Birth of Alice Rosenbaum (later changed her name to Ayn Rand).[br /]
[br /]

[b]1911[/b] Started teaching herself to read.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1913[/b] Began inventing her own stories.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1914[/b] Discovered her first fictional hero 'Cyrus'.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1915[/b] Began trying to write novels.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1918[/b] Discovered writings of Victor Hugo.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1921[/b] Entered university.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1924[/b] Graduated from Leningrad University.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1926[/b] Left Russia for US.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1929[/b] Married Frank O'Connor.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1931[/b] Became naturalized citizen of the US.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1932[/b] Became office head at RKO.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1944[/b] Signed as screenwriter with Hall Wallis.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1962[/b] Started 'Objectivist' Newsletter.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1969[/b] Gave private lecture course on non-fiction writing.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1979[/b] Frank O'Connor died.[br /]
[br /]

[b]1981[/b] Gave last Public speech 'Sanction of the Victims' in New Orleans.[br /]
[br /]

[b]March 6, 1982[/b] Ayn Rand died at home.[br /]
[br /]
[br /]

[b]Muse In Action[/b][br /]
[br /]


In 1929 DeMille was forced to close his studio and Ayn was hired as a filing clerk in RKO's (Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation) wardrobe department, and became head of department a year later. Frank was working steadily and so the O'Connors bought their first automobile, and Ayn bought her first portable typewriter.[br /]
[br /]


She worked on several screenplays and short stories in her spare time and began her first major novel We The Living. (Originally named Airtight.)[br /]
[br /]


Her first screenplay, Red Pawn was sold to Universal Studio in 1932. The same year saw her first stage-play, Night of January 16th, produced in
Hollywood and then on Broadway. In 1933, she completed her first novel We The Living. It was rejected by publishers for years, until Macmillan in the US and Tassel in England Published the book in 1936. Ayn had grown up with the ideals of the ultimate hero, - a man with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. A truly selfish man because every man has a right to exist for himself and not to sacrifice himself for others.[br /]
[br /]

[b]Her Protagonists[/b][br /]
[br /]


Rand emphasized her ideals, by using her observations she created antagonists worthy of her protagonists, although they will never truly hold the upper hand and the protagonists will always overcome all the barriers. Desiring the opportunity to write, without fear about her perspective of ego being the dividing point between men, Ayn Rand came to America with a passion for writing and a dream of sharing her philosophy with the world. Given this opportunity, the writing she produced stunned the world with its clear open view on the capitalist mind. Her three novels truly portrayed not only minds of which she dreamed, but also the secular altruists she despised.[br /]
[br /]

[b]Her Style[/b][br /]
[br /]

In Ayn Rand's novels there are four types of protagonists and two types of antagonists, plus countless background people who urge actions from both sides.[br /]
[br /]


The Renegade, the Industrialist, the establishment member, and the thinker are protagonists. Each immensely contributes to Rand's perspective of the ideal man with the thinker coming closest to the overall image of the ultimate hero.[br /]
[br /]


The antagonists can be divided into categories of leader and sheep-followers, with their only redeeming quality being in how they stumble, falter, and eventually recognize the superiority of the protagonists.[br /]
[br /]

[b]Her Philosophy[/b][br /]
[br /]


Before introducing the protagonist, it is imperative to comprehend the Objectivist Philosophy. Objectivism is reality and it exists independently of any perceivers, emotions, feelings, wishes, hopes or fears. For example A is A. It does not matter if it is turned upside down, inside out or painted a different color. It still remains A. It can be nothing but A for there are no contradictions in the world and if one is found, the perceivers perception of reality must be checked in order to find the A and obliterate the now A rationality. Objectivism is based on human ability to rationalize and make decisions which naturally brings about self-interest, for the rational man believes in his decisions and does not borrow the values of others or impose his on them.[br /]
[br /]


Coming back to protagonist types : Renegade is a man of force who will fight for his beliefs by trying to destroy a system physically. The Renegade fought a dangerous hands on battle with the socialistic foe that did not want to let them live for themselves and their happiness, but wanted them for common good.[br /]
[br /]


The Industrialists are the most staunch of the protagonists. They believe that as long as they are producing it, it does not matter that they are doing it for others.[br /]
[br /]


The establishment members are swans who are calm on the surface but paddle like devils underneath. They work from inside the system to destroy it. The last group of protagonists are 'thinkers', a group that is peaceful in its fight by doing nothing but living in reality.[br /]
[br /]


The protagonists of Ayn Rand are the backbones of her books and her mankind. Their credo being, "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine".[br /]
[br /]


In their contrasts are antagonists of types: non-thinkers and handers. With the emergence of protagonist's brilliance the antagonists fade away to non-existence.[br /]
[br /]

[b]We the Living[/b][br /]
[br /]


Her first work of fiction, We the Living is the story of Kira Argounova's struggle against the State. She lives in communist Russia and faces all the problems one comes across under a staunch communist reign. Kira falls in love with Leo Kovalensky, a man who represents all of her ideals and values. It is a story of her fight against the communist government to save Leo from tuberculosis.[br /]
[br /]


This book unveils the true face of the communist ideology. The story is both tragic, and uplifting. The book is based on the theme : The individual against the State.[br /]
[br /]


This most autobiographical novel of hers reflects the supreme value of human life, starkly denounces collectivism and brings forth the evils of totalitarian state that claims the right to sacrifice the invaluable human life. This work of hers was not welcomed by American intellectuals and reviewers. Rand was against the pro-communism that shadowed culture during the period called, 'The red decade'.[br /]
[br /]


In 1943, We the Living was made into a full-length film in Italy though later on it was banned by Mussolini, when the Fascists realized that the anti-communist message of the film was implicitly anti-fascist as well. The book was re-issued in 1959 with minor editorial changes.[br /]
[br /]

[b]The Fountainhead[/b][br /]
[br /]


The Fountainhead found its genesis in 1935. It was rejected by 12 publishers but finally accepted by Bobbs-Merill and published in 1943 to create history and become a phenomenon.[br /]
[br /]


In this creation she presented for the first time - a hero - 'a man he could be and ought to be'. His depiction was the chief goal of this work. The story was of an innovator - architect and his battle against the conformist race - the race which worshipped the establishment. The theme that resounded here was : 'Individualism versus collectivism'. The integrity, independence, self-esteem of that one man - Howard Roark, had inspired millions of readers.[br /]
[br /]


The character of Dominique Francon contained shades of her own personality, in her words, "herself in a bad mood", and traits of Frank. She said of Dominique, "I knew that here was someone stopped by enormous contempt for the world... a withdrawal from the world not out of bad motives or cowardice but out of an unbearable idealism which does not know how to function in journalistic reality as it is."[br /]
[br /]


The book was made into a film by Warner Brothers in 1949, starring Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, Patricia Neal as Dominique Francon, and Raymond Massey as Gail Wynand.[br /]
[br /]

[b]Atlas Shrugged[/b][br /]
[br /]


In late 1943, Ayn Rand returned to Hollywood to write screenplay for The Fountainhead but production of this screenplay was delayed until 1948. It was while working part time for producer Hal Wallis, she began her major novel, Atlas Shrugged in 1946. In 1948, she finally returned to New York City and settled down assiduously for the completion of Atlas Shrugged.[br /]
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Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957. It turned out as Ayn Rand's masterpiece. Breathtaking in its suspense and tremendous in scope, it was a story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. In this novel, she dramatized her unique philosophy in an intellectual mystery story, which was an integration of "ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics and sex". Though she recognized herself as a fiction writer, she realized that in order to create fictional protagonists, she had to formulate 'a philosophy for living on earth' which could make such individuals possible.[br /]
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[b]The Metamorphosis[/b][br /]
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Ayn Rand's uniqueness comes from her innovative themes and characterization. The thought of bringing her fictional characters to life enveloped her mind. She decided to make such individuals possible and started delving deep into her philosophy of 'Objectivism'. The grandeur of the philosophy was that it would not be 'a princess of the ivory tower'. Rather it would become the loving ideal of human race. Her philosophy was to become the guiding light of the New World.[br /]
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About her philosophy Ayn Rand said, "My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."[br /]
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Objectivism was described as a philosophy for living on earth. This philosophy states that if a man desires to live a true life he must be an objectivist. He must think in terms of an integrated system of thought that defines abstract principles. This philosophy found its way in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, but she decided to bring it to masses in a form whereby they make it the ideal of their lives.[br /]
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Ayn Rand was once asked if she could present the essence of objectivism while standing on one foot. Her answer was :[br /]
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1. Metaphysics : Objective Reality[br /]

2. Epistemology : Reason [br /]

3. Ethics : Self-interest [br /]

4. Politics : Capitalism[br /]
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And this was not all. Her greatness surfaced once again when she translated these terms into familiar language :[br /]
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1. "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."[br /]

2. "You can't eat your cake and have it too." [br /]

3. "Man is an end in himself." [br /]

4. "Give my liberty or give me death."[br /]
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She then summarized principles of Objectivism as following :[br /]
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[b]1. Metaphysics[/b][br /]
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"Reality, the external world, exists independent of man's consciousness, independent of any observer's knowledge, beliefs, feelings, desires or fears. This simply means that A is A, that facts are facts, that things are what they are - and the task of man's consciousness is to perceive reality, not to create or invent it." Thus, this tenet of Objectivism rejects any belief in the supernatural - and any claim that individuals or groups create their own reality.[br /]
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[b]2. Epistemology[/b][br /]
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"Man's reason is fully competent to know the facts of reality. Reason, the conceptual faculty, is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses. Reason is man's only means of acquiring knowledge." Thus, objectivism rejects mysticism and skepticism. It does not support the belief that, any acceptance of faith or feeling can ever be the means of knowledge. It also rejects claims that certainty of knowledge is impossible.[br /]
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[b]3. Human Nature[/b][br /]
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Man is a rational being. It is his reason that is his basic means of survival, Ayn Rand believed that though a man was endowed with reason, its exercise depended on each individual's choice. What a man believes to be, his soul or spirit is actually his consciousness, and what he believes to be his 'free will' is his mind's freedom to think or not. This is the only will a man possesses, the only freedom he can exercise completely. Objectivism abhors the belief that man can even be a victim of forces beyond his control.[br /]
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[b]4. Ethics[/b][br /]
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Man's rationale is the only proper judge of value and ethics and the only proper guide to action. Only those ethics, which are required by a man for his survival as a rational being, are standard ethics. Rationality is man's basic virtue, and his three fundamental values are : reason, purpose, and self-esteem. Every man is an end in himself, not a means to the ends of others; he must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest with achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of life. Thus, objectivism rejects altruism in any form.[br /]
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[b]5. Politics[/b][br /]
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With the propagation of the 'Objectivism' philosophy, the term 'objectivist' and 'capitalist' became synonymous. Ayn Rand believed that no man should use any form of physical force against any other man. No value can be demanded by one man from another by means of force. The only economic system that provides for protection of human rights was capitalism. Ayn Rand denied all other forms of political systems, be it socialism or mixed economy.[br /]
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[b]6. Aesthetics[/b][br /]
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"Art is a selective recreation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value 'judgments'. The purpose of art is to concretize the artist's fundamental view of existence." Ayn Rand described her own approach towards art as 'Romantic Realism'. Rand said, "I am a romantic in the sense that I present men as they ought to be. I am realistic in the sense that I present them here and now and on this earth'.
Ayn Rand published and edited her own periodicals from 1962 to 1976; her essays provided much of the material for nine books on objectivism and its application to culture.[br /]
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The nine books on objectivism are :[br /]
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I) The Voice of Reason : Essays in Objectivist Thought [br /]

II) Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology [br /]

III) The Ayn Rand Lexicon : Objectivism from A to Z[br /]

IV) The Ominous Parallels : the end of Freedom in America[br /]

V) Objectivism : The Philosophy of Ayn Rand [br /]

VI) Letters of Ayn Rand [br /]

VII) The New left : The Anti Industrial Revolution [br /]

VIII) Capitalism : The unknown ideal [br /]

IX) The Virtue of Selfishness.[br /]
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[b]About The Ayn Rand Institute[/b][br /]
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A non-profit educational organization named 'The Ayn Rand Institute' was established in 1985 to serve as apostle for the advancement of objectivism.[br /]
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Objectivism establishes that historical trends have resulted as a product of human philosophy. The present day situation is going from bad to worse and human philosophy has a direct relation to it. If our present condition is to be improved the human philosophy needs revolution.[br /]
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The institute brings Ayn Rand's ideas to attention of students, scholars, businessmen and general public. The programs include a campus speakers' bureau, essay contests, scholarly research, publication et all.[br /]
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Address :[br /]

THE AYN RAND INSTITUTE [br /]

P.O. BOX 251 799[br /]

WEST LOS ANGELES, CA 90025[br /]
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• If a life can have a 'theme song' - and I believe that every worthwhile one has - mine is [best] expressed in one word: Individualism.[br /]
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• Whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential.[br /]
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• My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.[br /]
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• Every man has a right to exist for himself, and not to sacrifice himself for others.[br /]
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• America is the land of the uncommon man, the land where man is free to develop his genius…and to get its just rewards." Upon arriving in New York in the early hours, February 10, 1926, Ayn Rand described her excitement, "And seeing the first lighted skyscrapers … it was snowing, very faintly, and I think I began to cry because I remember the snowflakes and the tears sort of together…[br /]
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• Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own Vision.[br /]
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• The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap.[br /]
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• Why do they always teach us that it's easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It's the hardest thing in the world--to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.[br /]
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• The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.[br /]
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• Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.[br /]
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• Upper classes are a nation's past; the middle class is its future.[br /]
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[b]About her Husband[/b][br /]
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• All my heroes will always be reflections of Frank.[br /]
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• You fall in love with a person because you regard him or her as a value and because they contribute to your personal happiness.[br /]
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[b]From Her Works[/b][br /]
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• Anyone who fights for the future, lives in it today.[br /]

(The Romantic Manifesto, p. viii)[br /]
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• To love is to value. Only a rationally selfish man, a man of self-esteem, is capable of love-because he is the only man capable of holding firm, consistent, uncompromising, unbetrayed values. The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.[br /]

("The Objectivist Ethics," The Virtue of Selfishness, p 32.)[br /]
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• Honor is self-esteem made visible in action.[br /]

("Philosophy: Who Needs It," Philosophy: Who Needs It, p. 10)[br /]
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• Men have been taught that the ego is the synonym of evil, and selflessness the ideal of virtue. But the creator is the egoist in the absolute sense, and the selfless man is the one who does not think, feel, judge or act. These are function of the self.[br /]

("The Soul of an Individualist," For the New Intellectual, p. 81)[br /]
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• Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.[br /]

("Objectivist Ethics," The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 28)[br /]
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• Every form has its own meaning. Every man creates his meaning and form and goal. Why is it so important---what others have done? Why is anyone and everyone right---so long as it's not yourself? Why is truth made a mere matter of arithmetic---and only of addition at that? Why is everything twisted out of all sense to fit everything else? There must be some reason. I don't know. I've never known it. I'd like to understand.(Howard Roark, From Fountainhead)[br /]
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• For twelve years you have been asking: Who is John Galt? This is John Galt speaking. I am the man who loves his life. I am the man who does not sacrifice his love or his values. I am the man who has deprived you of victims and thus has destroyed your world,…(From Atlas Shrugged)[br /]
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• We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one's happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt (John Galt, From Atlas Shrugged)[br /]
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Comments - Alice Rosenbaum