1. Anne Heller, author of Ayn Rand and the World She Made, passed away recently at the age of 71. Heller’s biography of Rand, which was published in 2009, was excellent but probably didn’t get the attention it deserved. A few months before it came out, Jennifer Burns published her biography of Rand, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. Goddess of the Market was the first biography of Rand since Barbara Branden’s 1986 The Passion of Ayn Rand. Burns had almost complete access to the Ayn Rand Archives and revealed, for the first time, that six of Rand’s posthumously published books – most notably Rand’s Journals - were so heavily edited as to be practically worthless. So Heller’s book was perhaps bound to be overshadowed (she was not allowed access to the Archives). Chris Sciabarra has a tribute.
2. Long time Objectivist writer Andrew Bernstein recently publish a book on US education: Why Johnny Still Can’t Read or Wright or Understand Math. I haven’t read the book, but the Ayn Rand Fan Club recently interviewed him. Bernstein makes some good points but seems to think students would do significantly better on average with improved teaching methods, which is an implication of Rand’s view of intelligence, which I discussed recently.