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Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 6:31amSanction this postReply
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I voted I haven't yet, but I plan too." I would also have voted "I don't care" I read PAR in the mid 90s and had a positive reaction to it. During that time I was still in the mode of integrating Objectivism and checking all my previous value judgements. I purchased and re-read it last year. Thinking back on it, it may have slowed my acceptance of Objectivism, by giving rise to some doubts in me and lowering my interest in continuing the path of understanding. In some ways I still find many positive aspects of the book as well. I feel it is only fair to read PARC too, given the debate surrounding it, and the fact that I've read PAR.

That said, it is not high on my list of things to do. I've learned to see Rand through the only really accurate ways I can. That is, through her writing and recorded interviews. This removes the potential bias of any writer from the mix and offers me the highest value. I have little interest in joining in the warfare between sides over the life of Ayn Rand. There are good and bad people on both sides and in the middle of this constant struggle. If those involved find value in it, that's their business. For me, Objectivism is about living my life in accordance with reality  and with productivity and happiness as my daily aim. 

Ethan 


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Post 1

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 7:45amSanction this postReply
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My brief exchange with the author and editor of this book indicates to me that it will be a waste of my time to read this book.

Post 2

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 8:52amSanction this postReply
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"For me, Objectivism is about living my life in accordance with reality and with productivity and happiness as my daily aim."

Well said Ethan. I've read PARC, and was educated by it, enjoyed it. I've also read PAR and Judgement Day. Reading all three completed my ability to form opinions of the last two.

But, at the end of the day, after all the second handers have had their say, it is Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead that I will *re-read* with pleasure and fulfillment.

I've just ordered a copy of AS for my daughters Birthday.


John


Post 3

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 9:09amSanction this postReply
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Thanks John!

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Post 4

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 9:20amSanction this postReply
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I simply do not care.

My interest is in ideas.  Gossip is far less interesting.  Over the last 30 years or so -- 40 now -- I have come to form my own opinions and I will keep my own counsel.


Post 5

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 9:49amSanction this postReply
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I am of course interested in Rand's ideas. I am also immensely interested in her life. I am not very good at abstractions. Ideas embodied in people's actions and lives are much easier for me to grasp. And I do think Ayn Rand had lived her philosophy.

I have read PAR and MYWAR, which are written by people who were part of Rand's life for many years. I enjoyed PAR more than MYWAR, because the focus of the later is mostly on Branden and not Rand. But MYWAR did fill in the gap that was left in PAR. I wish Peikoff, Greenspan, Blumenthal, etc. all those who were close or not so close associates of Rand would write what they've known about her. Oh, what a treat that would be!


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Post 6

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 10:13amSanction this postReply
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I, of course, have read it and will take this opportunity to plug my PARC DB ;)

http://www.jordanzimmerman.com/parc


Post 7

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 11:34amSanction this postReply
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Hong,

I thought Leonard Peikoff and Harry (?)Binswanger's parts in Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life were good. I especially though Cynthia Peikoff's parts were excellent. There are some extended parts on the director's cut of the DVD.

Ethan


Post 8

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 12:44pmSanction this postReply
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Hey Ethan,
I do have the Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life DVD. And I agree it is extremely good. It pretty much re-enforced the impressions I got from reading PAR. It's well-documented with abundant visual imagines, making it very attractive on its own. It was fun though to watch Peikoff somewhat uncomfortably talking about "...maybe they had an affair. Maybe the affair had some sexual nature..." or something like that. :-)

I would like to hear or read more from Peikoff, et al. on Rand the person though!



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Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 1:00pmSanction this postReply
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Mary Ann Sures has a book of reminescence......

Post 10

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 1:01pmSanction this postReply
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Actually Peikoff said something along the lines of :

"As far as I can tell they had an affair."

I watched this part interested to see exactly what he would say, given I had seen some interviews where he expressly said "....The Branden's, about whom I will not comment..." or something like that. Of the three, Leonard Peikoff, Cynthia Peikoff, and Harry Binswanger, I found LP and CP's comment the most articulate and interesting.

Ethan


Post 11

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 1:13pmSanction this postReply
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Yes, I like Cynthia the best among the three. But I don't know the context of her interactions with Rand...

PS to Robert: thanks for suggesting Mary Ann Sures's book. It does look interesting - exactly the kind that I'd be interested in. Has anybody  read it?

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 5/24, 1:15pm)


Post 12

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 2:48pmSanction this postReply
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Mary Ann Sures has a book of reminescence......
I think that was referenced in PARC. From what I read of it, the book seems like something I'd be very interested in.

Read it, put a lot of things in perspective. Made me pissed at myself for just moving past the passages in PAR that made my skin crawl and not thinking too much about it.

---Landon



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Post 13

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 4:27pmSanction this postReply
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After reading Jordan's database I'm sure that I won't waste my time with such crap. It's really incomprehensible to me how any intelligent person can be convinced by that kind of cheap rhetoric.

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Post 14

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 4:29pmSanction this postReply
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I have no aversion to reading PARC. However, with so many promising science, history, economics, etc. books still on my to-be-read list, PARC's priority queue position is probably in the 100s to 1000s so simply not likely to be read in my lifetime.


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Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 5:38pmSanction this postReply
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Hong, I read the Sures book, and liked it a lot. It's not long. It's very selective, and very positive, but I thought the stories rang true.

John

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Post 16

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 5:59pmSanction this postReply
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Speaking as a "not yet but plan to (soon)", I'm not sure I make sense of Hong's stand on this.  If you're interested in Rand's life, this is the kind of book that strikes me as must-read.  Even from its detractors, I hear at least about the value it provides in terms of insight into Rand the person from her journal entries.

In both PAR and JD/MYWAR (which I haven't read in some time and my copies drowned in a flood, though I remember fairly well), there are recountings of the incident when Rand thrice slapped Branden, and she shouted something about how he ought to be impotent for the next twenty years.  It seems crazy, cruel, irrational and inexplicable for her to say that.  Yet, there is a context behind this that Branden didn't provide in his memoirs, that apparently shows up in Rand's journals.  Some line he was feeding her about a "sexual freeze," a ridiculous line of crap ("outrageous bullshit" to use Robert Campbell's phrasing) given what we all know in retrospect.  All of a sudden it makes more sense that she'd say this in her anger -- you know, throwing back at him the line he was giving her.  This incident alone, coupled with my own interest in reading about Rand's life, prompts me to expect there to be plenty of value in the book, even if I don't anticipate that I'll like or agree with everything about it.

So yeah, it looks like it would provide more insight into the story that is Ayn Rand's life, helping to better set the full context that you wouldn't get from the Branden books.


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Post 17

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 6:18pmSanction this postReply
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Calopteryx Splendens,

I would still suggest reading the book. I've read the book. Jordan's database takes quotes out of context and dismisses them in a couple of sentences. It does not provide any meaningful insight to what is in the book. If nothing else, re-read PAR, MYWAR, JD, as well as To Whom It May Concern, In Answer to Ayn Rand. I would also get the book for no other reason than for the private journal entries (which you can skip over Valliant's commentary if you prefer) just so you can hear Rand's side of the story. Read and compare the issues keeping a few things in mind.

Both Nathaniel and Barbara waited till Rand was dead before publishing their accounts. Ayn Rand nor Frank O'Conner could not respond. We don't know their side of the story.

Both of their accounts of Rand and of their break, have in effect bolstered their repute with some Objectivists. Whether or not this is their motive is for you to decide.

Both (by their own admission) lied and deceived Rand. This coupled with the nature of the break itself brings up issues of credibility and bias.
(Edited by Adam Buker
on 5/24, 7:15pm)


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Post 18

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 6:43pmSanction this postReply
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PARC is only of importance or interest to the extent that biography of Ayn Rand is of importance or interest and only to that extent. However, PARC is about a lot more than an affair just as the Brandens' books were and if you believe that no critical analysis of the Brandens' books is necessary then, no, don't read PARC.

Hong, what could I have done to offend you?
(Edited by James Stevens Valliant
on 5/24, 8:02pm)


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Post 19

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 6:53pmSanction this postReply
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Adam and James make excellent posts. (Sanctioned)

 If you don't care, don't read it, but if you want to judge it, read it yourself. Letting others do your reading/thinking for you is sloppy. I have read PAR and will read PARC too, as I noted in my earlier posts. At this point, I've moved on in my caring, but I need to finish up with another side of the story.

Ethan

(Edited by Ethan Dawe on 5/24, 6:54pm)


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