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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ayn Rand And The World She Made by Anna C. Heller: On The Cover

If you've read The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, you probably love Ayn Rand too. I read both the books quite a long time back and don't really remember much of it now - I'm gonna read them soon all over again. So I was pretty excited to see this book at my local bookstore - Ayn Rand And The World She Made by Anna C Heller.

Here's a look at what the cover jacket says:

'Ground breaking...a thoughtful, flesh and blood portrait of an extremely complicated and self-contradictory woman.' - Janet Maslin, The New York Times

''Famous for her credo of individualism and unbridled capitalism, novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand never talked about her life as Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, an awkward and offbeat Russian Jewish girl of startling intelligence. Yet Heller believes that Rand's adamant self-regard and vehement protest against any form of collectivism or social conscience are rooted in her family's suffering in early-twentieth-century Russia, where Jews were violently persecuted and personal freedom was abolished. Heller is the first to fully investigate and vigorously chronicle Rand's willful life and phenomenal and controversial achievements, from her sense of destiny (by age 11 she had already written four novels) to her arrival in America at age 21 in 1926, her work in Hollywood, and her reign in New York as a cult figurehead. Heller also offers arresting analysis of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Rand's critically condemned yet perpetually popular and enormously influential novels of erotic melodrama and self-aggrandizing ideology. But the heart of the book is the wrenching story of Rand's marriage to long-suffering Frank O'Connor and her affair with the much younger man who packaged and peddled her beliefs as Objectivism. The champion of individuality who insisted on obedience and conformity from her followers (including Alan Greenspan), Rand emerges from Heller's superbly vivid, enlightening and affecting biography in all her paradoxical power.''
- Excerpts from Booklist review

Anne C Heller is a magazine editor and journalist. She has been the managing editor of The Antioch Review, a fiction editor of Esquire and Redbook , the features editor of Lear's and the executive editor of the magazine development group at Conde Nast Publications. With a special emphasis on money and finance, it was Ayn Rand's writing about money that first aroused her interest in the author, who is one of the most passionate defenders of capitalism of all times. Heller has written for a number of national magazines.
- Debolina Raja Gupta