]]]]]]]]]]   THE PASSION OF AYN RAND: CORRESPONDENCE    [[[[[[[[[[[[ 

      The Nov. 86 issue I gave B. Branden's book of the above title a 
favorable review.
      I received more than 20 letters in reply. Most of them, by a
ratio of 2 : 1, were very strongly supportive; 6 disagreed.
      With one exception, I will give extracts only from the negative 
letters. The exception is the first letter below, because it contains 
observations beyond mere applause and encouragement: 
                              *  *  *
[11/28/86]     " ... It's especially gratifying to find, in print, 
what I have been saying to my acquaintances here in the San Francisco 
Bay area. There are a goodly number of students of Objectivism here. 
About eight years ago we formed an informal group that meets once each 
month. It started as a means of exchanging ideas on philosophical 
issues. I'm now waiting for the polarization to set in after an anti-
cipated explosion. I have waited patiently for someone in the group to 
dare to bring up the subject of a discussion of the book. It's inter-
esting (and somewhat amusing) to observe that `The Faithful' have 
avoided the subject. Sadly, they follow the `Leader.' I have discussed
the book on a one-to-one-basis with a few of the members of this group
(the ones I've chosen for my friends) and find them to be in agree-
ment with me and with what you have written. I expect that one of us,
probably me, will provide the catalyst and force an open discussion. 
What an abhorrent form of censorship! Pretend it isn't there and it 
won't exist..."
                                   Miriam Schwartz, Emeryville, Calif.
                              *  *  *
[11/29/86]     "...I was stunned and depressed to see your endorsement 
of B. Branden's book. Your description of Ayn Rand, based on her 
writings as "irritatingly conceited" ... amazed me. I would like to
know any example... I can't even imagine what writings you have in 
mind...
     By your comments you seem to have gone out of your way to alie-
nate yourself from those Objectivists, including Peter Schwartz and 
myself, who revere Ayn Rand. In view of all of the above, ... please
cancel my subscription and send a refund of the unused portion.
                 Harry Binswanger [Objectivist Forum], New York, N.Y.
P.S. Do not publish this letter in whole or in part."
                              *  *  * 
[11/26/86]     "I disagree emphatically with your assessment of B. 
Branden's book... What I object to in Mrs Branden's book is her 
attempts find pseudo-psychological `explanations' for various parts of 
Ayn Rand's philosophy. For if her philosophy is true, it does not 
matter, it is profoundly irrelevant that she had a dominating mother
or not (or whatever); and if it is false, it would be better to prove
its falsehood BEFORE one tries to make conjectures as to what faults 
of her psyche led her to mistaken views."
                                            P.O.S., Strangnas, Sweden
                              *  *  *
[There was another letter from Sweden which I cannot for the life of 
me find anymore. It disagreed with my review and made the point that 
while the personal life of other famous people may be irrelevant to 
the importance of their work, this is not so with someone who advo-
cates a philosophy of LIVING.
                      My apologies for having misplaced this letter.]
                              *  *  *
[11/25/86]   "...B. Branden is, wittingly or not, hostile to many 
parts of the Objectivist philosophy. For example: In one of her many ad
hominem attacks on Rand, she writes `One can only assume that ... 
the pain and the terror of antisemitism was ultimately blocked from
her memory -- perhaps because the memory would have carried with it an
unacceptable feeling of humiliation.' Here Ms. Branden is asserting 
that Rand would react irrationally, with humiliation. Far more likely
and more consistent with her philosophy (at that age her `sense of 
life') she would have reacted with contempt for the irrationality, 
malevolence and envy of the antisemite."
                                                  C.J.S [no address]
                              *  *  *
[28/11/86]     "I was dismayed and disappointed by your positive re-
commendation of B. Branden's book. As you are a scientist with an 
unusually objective approach to evidence... I was very surprised that
you found her book credible at all... How could you ignore the blatant 
dishonesty of Mrs Branden who, as you stated, used your reputation to 
buttress her credibility? ...Do you sincerely believe that the author 
of "Atlas Shrugged" could not and did not have any integrity?"
                                        J.P.R., Shaker Heights, Ohio
                              *  *  *
[6/3/87]       "Though this is quite belated, I want to respond to 
your piece last November on The Passion of Ayn Rand. I don't want to
leave unanswered your accusation that those who -- presumably, myself
included -- condemn Branden's book do so out of a `religious desire' 
to evade the existence of "human frailties" in Ayn Rand...
     Although you and I have major philosophical differences, I re-
spected your commitment to science and capitalism (so much so that I
included you in my Editorial Board) because it signified to me a more
basic commitment to reason and to objectivity. I find I cannot reconcile 
that commitment with your praise of Branden's book... If Ralph Nader 
were to write the story of YOUR life, logic would require me to con-
cede no validity to his testimony..."
                 Peter Schwartz, INTELLECTUAL ACTIVIST, New York, N.Y.

     [Because of the review, Schwartz also did not wish to continue 
his subscription and in early 1988 clandestinely dropped my name from 
the Editorial Board, giving no reasons to either his readers or to me. 
Had he not done this behind my back, I would not have found it neces-
sary to ask him, in February 1988, to stop using my name for his pub-
lication.]                      
                           *  *  *


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