Letters of Ayn Rand

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The publication of the letters of Ayn Rand is a cause for celebration, not only among the countless millions of Ayn Rand admirers the world over, but also among all those interested in the key political, philosophical, and artistic issues of our century. For there is no separation between Ayn Rand the vibrant, creative woman and Ayn Rand the intellectual dynamo, the rational thinker, who was also a passionately committed champion of individual freedom.

These remarkable letters begin in 1926, with a note from the twenty-year-old Ayn Rand, newly arrived in Chicago from Soviet Russia, an impoverished unknown determined to realize the promise of the land of opportunity. They move through her struggles and successes as a screenwriter, a playwright, and a novelist, her sensational triumph as the author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and her eminence as founder and shaper of Objectivism, one of the most challenging philosophies of our time. They are written to such famed contemporaries as Cecil B. DeMille, Frank Lloyd Wright, H.L. Mencken, Alexander Kerensky, Barry Goldwater and Mickey Spillane

There are letters to philosophers, priests, publishers, and political columnists; to her beloved husband, Frank O' Connor; and to her intimate circle of friends and her growing legion of followers. Her letters range in tone from warm affection to icy fury, and in content from telling commentaries on the events of the day to unforgettably eloquent statements of her philosophical ideas. They are presented chronologically, with explanatory notes by Michael S. Berliner, who identifies the recipients of the letters and provides relevant background and context. Here is a chronicle that captures the inspiring drama of a towering literary genius and seminal thinker, and--often day-by-day--her amazing life.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Feb 1, 1997
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Pages
704
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ISBN
9781101137284
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Literary Figures
Biography & Autobiography / Philosophers
Literary Collections / Letters
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This second volume of Dorothy L. Sayers covers the seven years in which the greatest detective novelist of the golden age--and the creator of Lord Peter Wimsey--turns away from mystery writing to become a playwright and, in turn, a controversial figure.

Accused on the one hand of blasphemy, acclaimed on the other as one of the most influential lay theologians of her time, she found herself drawn into a vast network of correspondence, dealing with a wide range of social concerns.

These, after all, are the years of World War II, of air-raids, threats of invasion, rationing, lack of domestic help, congested travel, and blackouts. But there was no blackout in the creativity of Dorothy L. Sayers; in fact, this is the peak period f her creative endeavors: seventeen plays, several books, innumerable articles and talks--and hundreds of letters.

The letters reveal the context of her published words and send the reader back to them with new understanding. But the issues they raise are not merely those of her time; many are startlingly topical, even today.

The letters take us behind the scenes of her thinking, activity, and personal life. Here is an unknown Dorothy L. Sayers, whose influence on her contemporaries and beyond has yet to be measured. But at the same time, here is the Sayers whom we have always known and loved: witty, engaging, creative, passionate, committed.

Barbara Reynolds, Dorothy L. Sayers's acclaimed biographer, has selected and annotated these letters from the hundreds that Sayers wrote during one of the most fascinating times of her life.

Author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (1905–1982) is one of the most widely read philosophers of the twentieth century. Yet, despite the sale of over thirty million copies of her works, there have been few serious scholarly examinations of her thought. Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical provides a comprehensive analysis of the intellectual roots and philosophy of this controversial thinker.

It has been nearly twenty years since the original publication of Chris Sciabarra’s Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical. Those years have witnessed an explosive increase in Rand sightings across the social landscape: in books on philosophy, politics, and culture; in film and literature; and in contemporary American politics, from the rise of the Tea Party to recent presidential campaigns. During this time Sciabarra continued to work toward the reclamation of the dialectical method in the service of a radical libertarian politics, culminating in his book Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism (Penn State, 2000).

In this new edition of Ayn Rand, Chris Sciabarra adds two chapters that present in-depth analysis of the most complete transcripts to date documenting Rand’s education at Petrograd State University. A new preface places the book in the context of Sciabarra’s own research and the recent expansion of interest in Rand’s philosophy. Finally, this edition includes a postscript that answers a recent critic of Sciabarra’s historical work on Rand. Shoshana Milgram, Rand’s biographer, has tried to cast doubt on Rand’s own recollections of having studied with the famous Russian philosopher N. O. Lossky. Sciabarra shows that Milgram’s analysis fails to cast doubt on Rand’s recollections—or on Sciabarra’s historical thesis.

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