|Even though I was very interested in reading the biography and memoir by the Brandens, I have no intention of reading PARC and my reasons are simple.|
After the split between Rand and the Brandens, Rand's desire to conceal the actual reasons for the split created a huge mystery and much confusion in people who had been associated with the Objectivist movement. All of this happened before my emersion in the philosophy so I did not experience any emotional fallout from the split, but later it did loom as a huge puzzle without any satisfactory answer. When the Brandens' books were published, they provided the missing information necessary to make some sense of what had transpired. Having a full picture of what occurred was essential for being able to comfortably accept the tenants of the philosophy whereas the unresolved mystery had created huge doubts as to how useful the philosophy was in practice if it created a situation so bad for its originator that it must be shielded from all view. In addition, despite the great many attempts to describe the Brandens' books as defamatory, I completely disagree with this characterization. I think both accounts gave great praise to all of Rand's strengths and achievements while also showing some of her very human flaws. I found both books uplifting and they did not undermine my appreciation for Rand. They simply replaced my previous reservations concerning Rand's concealment of facts by a better understanding of events and of Rand as a complex person.
In contrast, it quickly became clear from early accounts of PARC that its single-minded focus was on undermining all credibility of the Brandens. There has been much additional discussion regarding the book over the past few months and I have heard nothing that substantially alters this early appraisal. This is not a book with a positive message, it is a treatise with a theme of destruction. If the focus of the book had been on presenting new information that gave us a better understanding of Rand, then there would be no need to focus on such idiotic material as whether or not Rand got her name from a typewriter, etc., etc. The fact that the book apparently does focus on such material shows its true intent.
I might be accused of drawing too much inference from too little information since I have not read the book. However, I next point to the results that have been achieved since the book was published. I see nothing positive. Instead, it has been a catalyst for driving another wedge between the Objectivist community, polarizing factions and generating nothing but rancor. I have not heard of one report where it has created a more positive view of Ayn Rand in the eyes of the general public nor has it furthered the acceptance of Objectivism in any way. It puzzles me as to what others are deriving from it. Those that praise it seem to simply be using it as a platform to justify and bolster their dislike for other individuals. Well, I don't need that.
Thus, it is my conclusion that the book has nothing to offer in furthering my life and I don't plan to read it - and not because I simply don't care.