Ayn Rand Explained
From Tyranny to Tea Party
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About the author
Ronald E. Merrill: The late Ronald E. Merrill was a graduate of MIT and the University of Oregon. He was a scientist-entrepeneur who ran his own business in the Los Angeles area. He is the author of The Ideas of Ayn Rand (1991), Raising Money (1990, with Gaylord E. Nichols), and The New Venture Handbook (1987, with Henry D. Sidgwick).
Marsha Familaro Enright: Marsha Familaro Enright is President of the Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute and a psychotherapist in private practice in Chicago. She is founder and chairman of the Council Oak Montessori School, has written for the New Individualist, and has been a featured speaker at events hosted by the Objectivist Center.
Fifty-five years after Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand is more in the news than ever. Ayn Rand Explained is an accurate and riveting account of Rand’s life, work, and influence, with the emphasis on her ideas.
The book covers Rand’s career, from youth in Soviet Russia to Hollywood screenwriter and then to ideological guru; her novels and other fiction writings; her work in ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics; her influence onand personal animosity towardboth conservatism and libertarianism.
Rand’s Objectivism encompasses the ethics of rational egoism (The Virtue of Selfishness’); dedication to rational thinking and acting; rejection of faith in the supernatural, personal freedom from political interference, and a moral defense of limited government and laissez-faire.
Objectivism was first promoted through the Nathaniel Branden Institute, headed by Rand’s young protégé and designated heir. The Institute’s phenomenally rapid growth was abruptly cut short when Rand expelled Branden and his followers in 1968. Today Objectivism is represented by different factions, notably the Ayn Rand Institute and the Atlas Society.
This is a revised, updated edition of The Ideas of Ayn Rand (1991), including new information on Rand’s rocketing influence, new stories about her personal relationships, and new analysis of her life and ideas.
; November 2012
256 pages; ISBN 9780812698015Read online
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Title: Ayn Rand Explained
Author: Ronald E. Merrill; Marsha Familaro Enright
In the press
Ayn Rand is in the news now more than everbut the media consistently misunderstands her. Read Ayn Rand Explained for a thorough and clear introduction to her ideas!”
JIMMY WALES, founder of Wikipedia
Ayn Rand Explained takes us on an exciting exploration of Rand’s provocative worldview and expertly traces its huge contemporary impact on politics, economics, art, and culture. Marsha Familaro Enright provides much new information and probing, in-depth analysis. A surprising, intriguing take on a controversial writer.”
CHRIS MATTHEW SCIABARRA, author of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical
I immensely enjoyed reading Ayn Rand Explained. Packed with fascinating information, much of it new, the book is a real page turnerand a reminder of why Rand’s novels are continuously making their way onto best-seller lists.”
VERONIQUE DE RUGY, Senior Research Fellow, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
On the First Edition
Very impressive! Merrill has a detailed understanding of Rand’s philosophy and familiarity with her novels. . . . I don’t agree with everything he says but his discussion is full of insights and penetrating points, and I learned a great deal from reading it.”
DAVID KELLEY, author of A Life of One’s Own and The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand
A fascinating, thoughtful book. . . . a worthy contribution to the growing body of literature on Ayn Rand and Objectivism. One need not agree with all of his conclusions to congratulate Mr. Merrill on the independence of his thinking.”
BARBARA BRANDEN, author of The Passion of Ayn Rand