Ken Barclay

The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics

190 posts in this topic

I think he might have been referring to "Psychology of Self-Esteem", which I myself really liked.

FYI, that's the only book of his that was heavily edited by Miss Rand. I suspect that may, perhaps, possibly, have had an itty-bitty little bit to do with the difference in quality between that book and every other one he would go on to write.

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I've never thought NB was a horrible person.  His books after Psych of Self-Esteem aren't as good, but thery're certainly not evil.  I'm not a fan, but I would still recommend Psych of Self Esteem, Psych of Romantic Love, and Six Pillars to anyone.  His sentence stem completion method is very effective, and I'll bet he does good by his patients.

I could agree with you until NB published his Judgement Day. Anybody bent on attacking a deceased former lover in public is evil in my eyes. Furthermore, a man eager to expose his failures and bare his vices is evil. The damage done to the spread of Objectivism by this book is terrible. NB knew what he was doing.

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There is a very interesting internet radio interview of James Valliant right here. Prodos interviews Valliant about his new book and together they highlight some fascinating facts and views. The interview is more than hour long. Well worth a listen.

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There is a very interesting internet radio interview of James Valliant right here. Prodos interviews Valliant about his new book and together they highlight some fascinating facts and views. The interview is more than hour long. Well worth a listen.

Thanks alot, I'm listening to it right now (although I wonder where you found it...I doesn't seem to be on the main page).

BTW, I just realized that when you type "The Passion of Ayn Rand" on amazon, Mr. Valliant's book comes up first. I wonder if that was intentional :D

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BTW, I just realized that when you type "The Passion of Ayn Rand" on amazon, Mr. Valliant's book comes up first. I wonder if that was intentional :D

Correction: It happens when you type "Passion of Ayn Rand"

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Thanks alot, I'm listening to it right now (although I wonder where you found it...I doesn't seem to be on the main page).

You're welcome, but you really should thank Prodos and James Valliant, not me. :D I got to the the interview from an update sent from prodos.com. You can subscribe to this update Bulletin by scrolling down to the bottom of the main page and clicking on "PRODOS Bulletin," and then fill out the free registration. That way you can keep up-to-date with all the interviews and other activities too.

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Thanks Stephen it was very insightful and I full enjoyed it.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. James Valliant comes across as a very straightforward and honest person, and Prodos, of course, his delightfully ever-exuberant self.

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I just finished The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, and enjoyed it.

The value I see in the book comes from:

1. The documentation of inconsistencies in the Brandens' writings about Ayn Rand. For instance, Valliant shows cases in which Rand has been accused of having contradictory character traits, and these accusations appear only pages apart, in the same book.

2. The inclusion of material from Ayn Rand's journals. Here, we get to see Ayn Rand's mind at work, trying to figure out why another person is behaving as he is. This also documents, from Rand's point of view, the events leading up to her breaking off her association with the Brandens in 1968.

I had hoped that this book would shed some light on why Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden began their affair in the first place, but there is no journal material on this subject. I'll probably never know the answer.

Anybody who has read any of the Brandens' books about Ayn Rand should read Valliant's book too.

What might be the overall effect of this book? It doesn't add anything directly to the case for Objectivism: the philosophy stands on its own merits, apart from the life of its creator. But, how many people have made bad judgments about Ayn Rand or Objectivism, not because of anything in the philosophy, but because of the negative things the Brandens have said? In other words, how many people, who might have been initially attracted to Objectivism, decided to not pursue it further, or to not pursue it very vigorously, or to not take it very seriously, because of what the Brandens wrote? Any people in this category now have, in Valliant's book, a very strong reason to doubt what the Brandens have said. Accordingly, they're more likely to study Objectivism, because they can now see that there are good reasons to not take two of Objectivism's most prominent detractors seriously. This will contribute to the spread of Objectivism.

Finally, here is Ayn Rand's side of the story (reconstructed as well as it can be), available to anybody who wants it.

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1p

...I should also mention that one of the big steps to my recovery from

the Branden poison was the online version of Valiant's book, which he

put on the Internet maybe 2 years ago in a much condensed form (it was

approximately four very long Internet pages)...

Could you or someone here send me a PM with the link to the online version ? I don't want to re-type sections that I find particularly quotable and am hoping there are equivalent passages in the online version I could cut-and-paste instead. ( I'd prefer you not post the link here so people have every incentive to buy the book ).

I think Valliant's book is a bold and audacious act of justice, and that he is right to be proud of this accomplishment. Like many here, I've found the book difficult to put down.

From this perspective, I have one small criticism: on page 214, near the end of the fourth paragraph, he says "The Brandens, however, have given detailed accounts of their own version of these events, and it seems only fair to provide Rand's specific response to them, at least." I think "seems only fair to" borders on "envy avoidance behavior"; I'd rather he said something like "justice demands that the author".

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I kind of doubt that Valiant would have kept that version online if he wants to sell the book, but you never know. And what is envy avoidance behavior? Offhand, it seems like you're being picky over a non-essential. Given the context, I don't see an important distinction there between "seems only fair" and "justice demands that the author."

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The online (and presumably much shorter) version of the book was already offline for at least one year at the time of my earlier writing. As of now, I think the contents of the book can be found only in printed form.

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There is a very interesting internet radio interview of James Valliant right here. Prodos interviews Valliant about his new book and together they highlight some fascinating facts and views. The interview is more than hour long. Well worth a listen.

Very good interview. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for the link.

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There is a very interesting internet radio interview of James Valliant right here. Prodos interviews Valliant about his new book and together they highlight some fascinating facts and views. The interview is more than hour long. Well worth a listen.

Very good interview. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for the link.

Oh, you're welcome, but the real thanks go to James Valliant and Prodos. Incidentally, Prodos has available a long list of interviews from years ago, many quite fascinating. Unfortunately, I think even more were lost due to some sort of computer problem.

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