Barbara Branden Speaks On Ayn Rand & Atlas Shrugged

Barbara Branden is one of the few people who was part of Ayn Rand’s inner circle during the years that she was writing Atlas Shrugged who is both still alive and willing to speak outside of “official” Objectivist circles. Back in October she spoke at a conference sponsored by The Atlas Society marking the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication — her former husband Nathanial Branden also speaks briefly.

The most interesting part of Branden’s talk is her description of what the negative reviews the book first received, and the failure of people who supported the book to come to her defense against things such as Whittaker Chambers’ scurrilous review, did to Rand as a person.

Here’s Part One:

And Part Two:

  • Akston

    I have been a fan of Ayn Rand since I first read Atlas Shrugged a couple decades ago.
    I’m always frustrated when I hear some pedantic fool carelessly dismiss her writing, or others who claim the book is “too long”, or “I’m not really interested in train novels.” Given my own level of frustration, I cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like for her to have so few people of ability and reason respond to her tribute.

    When comprehended, Ayn Rand’s philosophy and Libertarian politics share such an optimistic and empowering view on a person’s life, that I still have trouble seeing why those who choose to argue against it want so desperately to focus on human suffering and limitation rather than the best within us. It’s sad choice, but theirs to make.

    Thanks for sharing this video. I hadn’t seen it. It’s good to have a sense of the actual history there. I’m impressed with Barbara Branden’s moving comments.

    For anyone who has not yet read it, I highly recommend the book.