Throughout Ayn Rand's career, no collaborator was closer to her than Nathaniel Branden, whom she once named her "intellectual heir." In Rand, Branden found a fearless advocate of individualism and of man as a heroic being. In Branden, Rand saw her vision come to life in flesh and blood. "She gave people a sense that they could be effective. That if they would persevere, stick by their standards, work hard, you could achieve something you can be proud of. Find that part in you—she would say 'the hero in your own soul'—and work towards that," says Branden.
After a decade at the center of Rand's inner circle, Branden founded the Nathaniel Branden Institute with the goal of promoting her philosophy. The Institute was largely responsible for the spread of Rand's ideas during the 1960s, but came to an abrupt end when romantic conflict between Branden and Rand tore apart their professional association.
Despite the official and unreconciled split between the two, the 79-year-old Branden has remained true to the spirit of Rand's work during his prolific career as a psychologist of self-esteem. To this day, their legacies remain inseparable and in 2000, Branden authored My Years with Ayn Rand, his second memoir of his relationship to the author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
Approximately 10 minutes. Nathaniel Branden was interviewed by David Nott, filmed by Alex Manning, and edited by Hawk Jensen and Alex Manning.
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