Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q&A

By Ayn Rand
Edited by Robert Mayhew
Read by Bernadette Dunne

10.02 Hours 07/23/2009 unabridged
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After the publication of Atlas Shrugged in 1957, Ayn Rand turned to nonfiction writing and occasional lecturing. Her aim was to bring her philosophy to a wider audience and to apply it to current cultural and political issues. The taped lectures and the question-and-answer sessions that followed added not only an eloquent new dimension to Ayn Rand’s ideas and beliefs but also a fresh and spontaneous insight into Ayn Rand herself. Ayn Rand Answers is a collection of those enlightening Q&As. Topics covered include ethics, Ernest Hemingway, modern art, Vietnam, Libertarians, Jane Fonda, religious conservatives, Hollywood communists, atheism, Don Quixote, abortion, gun control, love and marriage, Ronald Reagan, pollution, the Middle East, racism and feminism, crime and punishment, capitalism, prostitution, homosexuality, reason and rationality, literature, drug use, freedom of the press, Richard Nixon, New Left militants, HUAC, chess, comedy, suicide, masculinity, Mark Twain, improper questions, and more. 

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Summary

Summary

After the publication of Atlas Shrugged in 1957, Ayn Rand turned to nonfiction writing and occasional lecturing. Her aim was to bring her philosophy to a wider audience and to apply it to current cultural and political issues. The taped lectures and the question-and-answer sessions that followed added not only an eloquent new dimension to Ayn Rand’s ideas and beliefs but also a fresh and spontaneous insight into Ayn Rand herself. Ayn Rand Answers is a collection of those enlightening Q&As.

Topics covered include ethics, Ernest Hemingway, modern art, Vietnam, Libertarians, Jane Fonda, religious conservatives, Hollywood communists, atheism, Don Quixote, abortion, gun control, love and marriage, Ronald Reagan, pollution, the Middle East, racism and feminism, crime and punishment, capitalism, prostitution, homosexuality, reason and rationality, literature, drug use, freedom of the press, Richard Nixon, New Left militants, HUAC, chess, comedy, suicide, masculinity, Mark Twain, improper questions, and more. 

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“No one who reads Mayhew’s book can fail to be impressed by the coherence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy.” The New Individualist

Reviews

Reviews

by Ash Ryan 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

A fascinating look at Ayn Rand in action

A great compilation of the best of Ayn Rand's question and answer periods following her lectures.

Robert Mayhew's excellent editing organizes the questions and answers into chapters drawn around broad themes (e.g., politics, ethics, metaphysics and epistemology, and art), then into smaller sub-sections. This keeps the reading flowing, instead of jumping around from topic to topic almost at random as would occur in a live Q&A session.

While some of Ayn Rand's answers will be obvious to long-time students of Objectivism, many of them shed new light on her philosophy, and almost all of them give the reader a better picture of Ayn Rand as a person, whether it is her quick wit, her warm benevolence in giving the benefit of the doubt to most questioners and patiently explaining her philosophical principles to them, or her righteous indignation at genuinely dishonest, hostile, or insulting questions. Even her answers to questions on narrow, concrete issues at the time of the session (such as the Vietnam war) are applicable to events today (such as the current Iraq war) because her answers address the deeper abstract principles involved (such as proper foreign policy).

On my first listening, I noticed only two drawbacks. First, a few of her answers leave you wanting more, and you wish that she were still alive and in the room with you so that you could ask her follow-up questions. That's not to say that she doesn't give a full enough answer to the question as asked, given the context of a live public Q&A session, but rather that her intriguing answers leave you feeling sad that you are merely listening to an audiobook and not actually in the room during one of those Q&A sessions. Second, if you've ever heard a recording of one of her Q&A's (or were lucky enough to have attended one), you are aware of how much you are missing from the live setting--for example, from the audience reactions, as they audibly gasp in shock or indignation at some remark Ayn Rand makes, but by the end of her answer after she explains the comment, they are cheering. That's an added bonus of the live setting that the audiobook format unfortunately can't reproduce, but if you're a student like me and can't yet afford to spend a few hundred dollars on recordings of all her lectures, this audiobook is the next best thing.

Author

Author Bio: Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was born in Russia, graduated from the University of Leningrad, and came to the United States in 1926. She published her first novel in 1936. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved a spectacular and enduring success, and her unique philosophy, Objectivism, gained a worldwide following.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Philosophy
Runtime: 10.02
Audience: Adult
Language: English