|Casey—I haven't read the book, & I shall withhold final judgement until I have. But some preliminary observations are in order.|
1) I look in vain for evidence of the "Cult of the Brandens" that you talk about, at least as far as Barbara is concerned. It's true that Barbara has a devoted following, especially here, but I'm not aware of that being any kind of crime. Barbara is revered because she was the first to have the courage to tell the truth, because she told it so well, & for her often-sublime wisdom. She is not revered in the blind, unquestioning manner a cult-leader is.
2) I don't know of anyone here who would seek to have the book banned or burned, or who would refuse to read it on principle. That is *precisely* the approach Peikoff took to Barbara's book, & a little honesty in acknowledging his past authoritarian dishonesty in this matter wouldn't go amiss. He had to be dragged kicking & screaming into admitting The Affair. His side-kick, the dreadful Schwartz, took a different approach, saying, in effect, so what if it's true? What matters is what you *want* to believe about an historic figure! Is that primacy of consciousness/whim-worshipping subjectivism or what?! A little honesty about *that* would be in order also.
3) There are two or three psychotic individuals who got banned from SOLO for posting gutter-level stuff about the Brandens. Those self-same psychotics are now heralding this book as "Ayn Rand's Revenge," "The End of the Brandens," etc.. They've published a travesty of a review of it by one of them, a woman who's as mad as a meat-axe. When I see such demonstrably dysfunctional, incestuous neurotics gleefully applauding the book, I'm naturally suspicious. And *you* ought to be embarrassed!
4) No doubt, in this or that detail, the Brandens' biographies were mistaken. That's unavoidable. No doubt, in this or that detail, *this* book will be mistaken also. Big deal. It will be judged on its Big Picture integrity, or lack thereof. Barbara's has it in spades. I reserve judgement about Mr Valliant's.