2. In 2009, Jennifer Burns came out with her biography of Ayn Rand, Goddess of the Market. I just came across this 2010 Amazon review by Jan Schulman, who knew Rand. It is quite insightful about the nature of the movement in its heyday.
AR [Ayn Rand] was a brilliant, angry, disturbed, troubled woman. i loved her and loathed her. most especially, i loathed 'the movement' and all that it represented. a great example: one time i had worked for NB [Nathaniel Branden] doing secretarial services for him (after the break) in l.a. i had typed up a letter he dictated, signed the letter (he was out of town) and mailed it. he came to our house the following saturday morning when my husband and i were having breakfast and still in our robes. he sat down, had coffee and then expressed his extreme displeasure with me. "You used an exclamation point in the letter!" he practically screamed at me. "What?" I responded, stunned and confused. "You used an exclamation point! Do you know what an exclamation point is?" "Well, it signifies an important statement, one that is strongly felt." "It's a scream!" he barked at me. "And that tells me something about YOUR psycho-epistomology."
I looked at him like he was crazy. (i actually thought he was.) "But you said you had never been so happy in your entire life. i thought it was deserving of an exclamation point." i said. "it was a strong statement and it was about your feelings and it was an exclamation." he went on to state that he was horrified and embarrassed beyond belief that that letter was sent with that piece of punctuation in it. that was when i realized, fully and clearly, as if a light went on in my head, that he and AR and everyone around them, were so full of their own self-worth (actually so full of crap) that they had lost sight of everything rational. that was when i became not only an ex-objectivist, but practically an anti-objectivist. i let NB know what i thought of his opinion and especially his nerve in blustering his way into our apartment only to insult me, while drinking my coffee (feel free to laugh). (i made really good coffee...smiles...) a few days later he apologized to me, but by then, i didn't care what he thought.