Philosophy

Ayn Rand & The World She Made: Q&A with Anne C. Heller

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Anne C. Heller's critically acclaimed and best-selling 2009 book, Ayn Rand and the World She Made, is new in paperback (we're tempted to say that it makes a great Christmas gift, though it's clear that Rand didn't believe in the holiday or the altruism that attaches to it!).

Reason's Nick Gillespie talks with Heller about Rand, whom the biographer says remains the great explicator of capitalism's virtues and remarkably undervalued by the literary establishment.

"How many novelists of ideas do we have in post-war America?" asks Heller, who says the most surprising thing she learned about Rand during her research was her fearfulness. From double-locking doors to wearing heavy rubber gloves while washing dishes to avoid germs, Heller argues that Rand bore the scars of a Jewish childhood spent in the virulently anti-Semitic confines of czarist Russia and the fledgling Soviet Union.

As Gillespie noted in his review of Ayn Rand and the World She Made and Jennifer Burns' Goddess of the Market, Heller's biography is a rich, sympathetic treatment of a major cultural figure that simultaneously analyzes and humanizes Rand's major, continuing influence on 20th- and 21st-century America.

Approximately 6.30 minutes. Shot by Jim Epstein and Adam Hawk Jensen. Edited by Josh Swain.

To watch Reason.tv's video series about Ayn Rand, Radicals for Capitalism, go here.

To read Reason's archive of articles about Rand, go here

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