Based on interviews with Rand and discussions with those close to her, this biography describes her life from her youth in Russia, to her stint in Hollywood as a screenwriter, and through her marriage, the publication of her novels, and the evolution of her philosophy.
It's important to remember that much of PAR was written and published in "Who Is Ayn Rand?" well before the break with Rand. I think it's also important to remember that Barbara Branden's good opinion of Rand extended all the way to the morning of the day she broke with Rand, when she was presenting her with a business proposal to take over running NBI. Rand rejected the offer, and later that day Ms. Branden's smearing began.
Sorry, I should have specified that most of the good stuff about Rand that appears in The Passion of Ayn Rand came from Who Is Ayn Rand? Obviously, all of the stuff about the affair, the break, Rand's insane jealousy, her incapacity for human compassion, her repressed pain from enduring Anti-Semitism, her repressed emotions about her parents, her authoritarian nature, her humorlessness, her unkempt appearance, etc., etc. came from The Passion of Ayn Rand.
Thanks for the sanction, Jody. I do realize, I think, how much it cost you.
BTW, it may interest you to know that I did reply to your request for more information on another thread on psychology, where I had questioned the validity of the concept of "double-blind" studies in that field. But my reply was never posted, having been deleted in advance by an overgrown schoolyard bully who now mongers war worldwide and who specializes in intemperate diatribes. I believe when he censors my contributions to this forum he calls himself a "moderator." Apparently my reply to you contained some clever-dick smart-ass anarcho-Saddamism from which it was vitally necessary to protect the delicate sensibilities of my fellow SOLOists. After all, someone like myself, who specializes in snide one-liners and has a problem with anything fundamentally decent, poses a major menace to the continuation of the SOLO way of life.
I only point out that parts of it were written in the pre-break period and other parts were written after the break. That is all. I think it is an important thing to consider when evaluating what her post-break attitude toward Rand was while she was putting together The Passion of Ayn Rand. Nathaniel Branden claims that her bitterness toward Rand had not abated by the time she was writing PAR.
Yeah, Ethan, I know that trope, and I'm chuckling at it now. But it cuts both ways, in this case, doesn't it? The Brandens both corroborate things that help their joint case against Rand, and undercut each other in their claims against each other.
However, admissions against interest are admissable hearsay in a court of law, precisely because when someone admits something against their interest it's more likely to be true. And the point is, who then is lying here? Barbara or Nathaniel?
Casey and some others hate the Brandens sight unseen. There will be no objectivity in their view - the most will be pre-break Brandens and post-break Brandens, with pre-break not being so bad (after all, Ayn Rand herself was sanctioning them, but if not for that...). However, the post-break Brandens are lousy dirty rotten scum to them and no rational argument will ever penetrate such blind prejudice. It reminds me of the racism I grew up with that I never could understand, even as a child.
The Passion of Ayn Rand is a magnificent romantic biography/autobiography, presenting all issues - good and bad - as larger-than-life. Read in that light, it is a thrilling read and Ayn Rand comes out as a first-rate heroine from so many aspects that it is hard to count them.
I urge any person who reads Valliant's book to read or reread Barbara's bio immediately thereafter and see if it portrays only Rotten Rand in all her glory, as is claimed. Fierce love and admiration for Ayn Rand are there in spades. All you have to do is look and see.
We don't hate anyone sight unseen. For heavens sake, I'm sure that in hindsight neither James nor I ever wanted to see so much of the Brandens' handiwork on display in their books as he was researching the bases for their claims. I daresay, few else should WANT to see it. But it's true, and it really has to be seen to be believed. Telling people we hate the Brandens sight unseen is telling people to reject Mr. Valliant's book sight unseen. It's beneath you, Michael. Knock it off. There is a very serious and honest and non-conspiratorial effort in Valliant's book to get to the truth, or at least knock away the unsubstantiated claims, about a thinker we all admire here. That should be, I certainly hope, a common goal, here of all places.
It's a claim based on the evidence that is presented in PARC -- Barbara Branden started saying bad things about Rand later in the same day that she had presented her business proposal to Rand to run NBI and it was rejected .
I was the one who deleted Jeff's previous post. And I just deleted another of his.
Jeff, you can't seem to post without insulting people. You usually don't even bother trying. I put you on moderation awhile ago, but the moderators (including myself) have been lenient about letting your stuff go through. You've reached my limit. No more. If you can be mature and post with civility, your posts will go through. If not, we'll just ban you.