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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 05:21 PM
Original message
Good info on Ayn Rand wanted
Just reading the title of one of her works (The Virtue of Selfishness) makes me feel like hurling. I really don't want to subject myself to her writings in their entirety. Bleccch.

Are there any good URLs or books about Ayn Rand?

(My brother is totally into her.)
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. I used to love her
I was in the Objectivist club in college.

What changed my mind:

1) Working like a slave b/c I had no Union to represent me.
2) Breaking my arm and having no health insurance.
3) Recognizing that everything that is good about our society was fought for by Progressives & Liberals. (Not a benevolent gift from an enlightened management as Ayn Rand suggests.)
4) After reading Atlas Shrugged I thought that the book was all wrong. The rich need us workers a lot more than we need them.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. Those are the five words she hated the most...
"I used to love her"

I once saw that tin-eared, heartless hag go ballistic when a woman in her 30s addressed her with, "I used to read your books in high school, but..."

terrible novelist
terrible philosopher
terrible person
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Demonaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #23
32. Dont waste your time, she sucks!
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 03:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
35. How old are you
how old were you when you 'loved her'.
How could have one loved a fucktard like Ayn Rand?
She was all the craze among certain groups when I was in University, stated to read one of her novels, couldn't get pass the first 2 chapters, was bored stiff. And god knows I can usually read anything through.
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MikeG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. You'll notice that in all her books
all the conservatives are attractive and all the liberals are ugly.
She believes that if you try to help the poor, you are committing a crime.
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not systems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. She was a friendly witness for HUAC.
I think she was considered a Hollywood writer at the time.

The Fountain Head book and movie is worth reading or watching.

She was from the Soviet Union and hated communism
she developed a series of fiction books to promote
her views.

She was very anti-Cristian also I once heard a hour long
invective against the pope that she delivered on the radio.

I have heard her ideology described as fundamentalist materialism
as opposed to dialectic materialism.

Lots of her followers consider themselves libertarians mostly
of the republicans who smoke pot variety.

There is a documentary about her life Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life
that is available at Amazon. If you read the comment there
you can a good sense of her followers ideas.


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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. She's got some books about writing that are pretty good.

One is "The Art of Nonfiction".

I looked at a litle bit of her stuff, then heard about the Rand Corporation and knew that I wasn't interested in wasting any more of my time on her.

There was a really good cartoon series in Vanity Fair about her last year, about her personal life. It was kinda mean.


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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Erm, the RAND Corporation name stands for
"Research and Development". Nothing to do with her.
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Oh. I thought I saw it like this "Rand".
Gee, I'm kinda dumb. :eyes: Oh, well . . .
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FDRrocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. There is an Ayn Rand institute though...
Thom Hartmann used to have people from there one his show to debate them all the time.
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks for coming to my rescue!!
:loveya:
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bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. on Radio
There was a guy on, I think, the Mariann Williamson show (with guest host) on friday from the Ayn Rand institute.

Maybe there is an archive somewhere.

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legin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. If he was Dr. something or other
it could be Dr. Yaron Brook who is a top dog at the Ayn Rand Institute and who has appeared on Fox News.

Dr. of Philosophy you would think, but it could well be something like business administration.

Ex israeli military intelligence too. Maybe not so ex as he used to be perhaps.
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legin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. Hold that one, I found another Dr.
Dr. Edwin A. Locke who is a senior writer for Ayn Rand Institute (ARI).

Primary Research Areas: Organizational Behavior,
Human Resources Management.

http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/mao/faculty/elocke/

Mmmmm... also slightly lacking the Philisophical background that I assumed might be required for the post.

Mmmmmmmmmmm... these Ayn Rand Institute guys don't seem to be too worried about qualifications for the job, maybe I can feel another attack from 'the CV from hell' brewing.
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legin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Bleccch
from the link:

Consulting Work

Wakefern Foods
U. S. Civil Service Commission
Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association
Defense Intelligence Agency
International Personnel Management Association
Inhilco, Inc.
Blue Shield of Maryland
U.S. Post Office
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
U.S. Red Cross
IBM
Kodak
Washington Gas Light Co
National Retail Merchants Association
McDonnell Douglas
Douglas Aircraft
Westinghouse Corp.
Marriott Corp.
Pet Foods, Inc.
Army Research Institute

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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. Ph.D. doesn't mean Philosophy necessarily
or at least not any more. Sure hope you didn't think it did.

One can earn a Ph.D. in any number of subjects: History, Spanish Literature, Women's Studies, Economics, Art History, ad infinitum (or close to infinitum).

One of my recent profs actually had a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Nice person, but couldn't reason her way out of a torn paper bag. Claimed to be ultra-liberal/progressive, but had a real do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do conservative streak: drove a big SUV while touting public transportation, bragged about her profits on wise investments but criticized the whole capitalist/corporatist economy, excoriated the wasters of water in our desert environment but justified her own over-irrigated grassy lawn with "but I just miss the Midwest sooooo much."

So much for a Ph.D. in Philosophy.

Ayn Rand was more honest than that!
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legin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Don't worry kaitykaity
I just learnt something too. :evilgrin:
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. lol.

More proof that we're liberals. We actually 'learn' things. We don't think we already know everything already.

Kewl.

:hi:
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Another Bill C. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. I read all of her books
back when I was single. I bought into her philosophy for a while. At some point, I noticed there were no children in her stories. If there had been, she would have had to find a way to get them earning their own way immediately after birth. I don't think she had that worked out.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Ha ha. :)
My brother probably hates the fact I'm disabled.
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SharonAnn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. That, and all of her heroines had to be raped by powerful men
They couldn't just enjoy sex. They had to be "taken".

And, no birth-control. Never figured out how all that sex resulted in no pregnancies.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
28. I read them, too...
...and in high school, I thought I already had all the answers to the world's ills, thanks to her.

Then I got a life, had children, had to live in the real world.

Her philosophy just doesn't work outside of the fictional lives of Howard Roark and Dagny Taggert. I've found the world is a much better place when people have compassion for each other.
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gold_bug Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. here's a few links:
THE UNLIKELIEST CULT IN HISTORY
BY MICHAEL SHERMER
http://www.skeptic.com/02.2.shermer-unlikely-cult.html

Objectivists' hidden agenda a Klan mentality
by Rebecca Stambanis
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/1996_jan-dec/04/04-19-96tdc/04-19-96d07-002.htm

And from our friends at Free Republic...
"Big Sister Is Watching You"
by WHITTAKER CHAMBERS
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a38bc27ba7c09.htm

From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: "To a gas chamber -- go!"
--Whittaker Chambers, 1957
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LeahMira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
13. Here's a start...
Are there any good URLs or books about Ayn Rand?

http://www.aynrand.org/


Just reading the title of one of her works (The Virtue of Selfishness) makes me feel like hurling.

Try one of her novels. I liked The Fountainhead when I first read it long time ago. She also wrote a play, The Night of January 16, which was pretty cool. Her fiction is good because at least you get a good story line, but her other stuff probably will make you hurl.

If I remember correctly, she was Russian and was writing in reaction to some of the things that were happening in Stalinist Russia, but in doing that I think she went too far to the opposite extreme.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Ayn Rand was violently anti-communist as a result of her
childhood in early post-revolution Russia. But she emigrated too early (1920s, I think) to have lived under Stalin.

The video mentioned above was a more-or-less authorized biography, put together by her designated heir to the Objectivist philosophy. She disinherited her original protege, Nathaniel Branden, after he broke off their affair. He was, according to his autobiographical "My Years with Ayn Rand," a star-struck devotee of her philosophy and she decided she wanted to sleep with him, with the full knowledge and consent <?> of their respective spouses.

The video is narrated by Sharon Gless, for whatever that is worth. It's also extremely pro-Rand, with no mention of any of her failings.

She wanted to work in Hollywood, did some scriptwriting there, but little else. She met her husband, artist Frank O'Connor in Hollywood. He was supposed to be her ideal, but he fell far short. Rather than leave him -- it would have been an admission of a mistake on her part -- she treated him like shit. He never recovered from the betrayal of her affair with Branden, and eventually drank himself to death.

Rand was an avowed anti-feminist. She believed no woman should ever be president because even the strongest woman wasn't as strong as a man, and even if she were, she couldn't survive without a man to look up to, i.e. the president.

I have most of her novels, though not "The Fountainhead," which I read in the late 60s and found unbearably boring. I thought the heroine was a dope. I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged -- and have an autographed copy -- as a story, but the philosophy was flawed. At first glance, it makes perfect sense, but only in the context of the perfect world she creates in the book. In the real world, that engine doesn't start, it doesn't even turn over.

As for Rand and children, I got the impression from both Branden's book and other stuff I've read about Rand that she not only didn't like children and didn't want to have any, but also was disappointed that she didn't. Kind of an unreconciled emotional dilemma.

the only thing I agree with her on is atheism. she never used religion to cover any of her faults.
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Sandpiper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #19
36. Rand most certainly had a religion
And her religion was fundamentalist market capitalism. In Rand's sophomoric philosophy, there was no evil that the market couldn't overcome.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. She didn't have a belief in a "supreme being"
that being the essential element of a "religion" as we commonly think of it: god, church, ritual, belief in a hereafter, etc.

she did believe in fundamentalist free market capitalism, but that is not, IMHO, a "religion" in the traditional sense. if you argue that it is, then i suppose you consider atheism a religion, too.

She believed that when she died, she died, no heaven, no hell, no sin, no redemption.
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rocketdem Donating Member (496 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
16. The Foutainhead
is probably her best book.

Read it. It's worth the time to understand how the other side thinks. It is anti-social, individual uber alles capitalism taken to the political and social extreme.

My father assigned it to me to read when I was about 15 years old. Thankfully, I recovered and grew up to be a human being.
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tbrosz Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
20. Recommended reading
I would recommend starting with her fiction instead of her non-fiction, in particular "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged." The latter is a pretty good story, despite its length, and the tendency of the characters to stop and unload a few thousand word philosophical soliloquy like characters in a musical break into song.

Only the most determined readers will tackle John Galt's speech on the first reading. Most of us skipped it to see what was going to happen to the characters and came back later.

If you must start with the non-fiction, try "For the New Intellectual."

The virulent hostility from some of the posters here toward her work is not that surprising, considering the venue, but read it and decide for yourself, instead of relying on second and third-hand reviews or comments.
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mobuto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. I'm not going to tell anyone not to read anything
but I do not like Ayn Rand. I find her writing ponderous, pompous and preachy. Her stories are absurd (don't try to follow the plot of Atlas Shrugged too closely or you'll start banging your head against the wall), her politics reprehensible, and the Cult of Rand that grew around during her life and has continued on afterwards has got to be one of the strangest group of weirdos ever assembled.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #20
39. Hi tbrosz!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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lojasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
25. on a side note
Al franken's book "Oh the things I know" credit's Al as having writen "The Fountainhead" under the pen name Ayn Rand. Strange.
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BillZBubb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
26. Rand is the wet dream of idealistic, sophomoric schoolboys
Read "Atlas Yawned" and that should be enough to convince you that she is the intellectual equal of George Bush*. Believe me, it's good to read something by her just to see how limp her "philosophy" really is. But, after reading just one thing anything else is a huge waste of time.

You might want to look up Rand in a serious collection of major philosophers. Say, the "Oxford Companion to Philosophy." Oops, you won't find her there. Mercy me.

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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-21-04 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
27. I bought The Ayn Rand Cult.
I's much less about Rand, than her adoring, co-dependant followers...and I mean that in the kindest way.;-)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0812693906/qid=1077418032//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-0024738-4732701?v=glance&s=books&n=507846



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mykpart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
30. Here's a couple of quotes
summing up her philosophy:

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
- Ayn Rand, Appendix to Atlas Shrugged

My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists-and in a single choice: to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live, man must hold three things as the ruling values of his life: Reason-Purpose-Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge-Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve-Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worthy of happiness, which means: worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man's virtues
- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.

Rand also believed that you could not truly embrace objectivism unless you were an atheist. That's why it always surprises me when someone from the right starts quoting her.
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 12:36 AM
Response to Original message
31. The Neocons I worked with for years were great fans of hers....
And I read her books until I was cross-eyed.

Actually, her books are well worth reading, in my opinion. In fact, I wish, most of all, that I could write about OUR SIDE of the story (politics), with the same skill that she wrote about the dark side. She truly is a talented writer.

But....the woman has snakes in her head. As they say here in the deep south..."she ain't quite right".

She is so totally biased against anything having to do with compassion or caring for our fellow planetary residents. She is against any form, whatsoever, of taxation to provide any kind of support that reeks of human compassion....yet is orgasmic over the idea of government protecting big business. (Sound familiar??)

Her logic is based on ideal situations she creates in her mind (as stated by another poster above), and tries to justify the success of monopolistic business practices by touting some sort of God-like "entrepreneurial spirit" that she projects onto the original entrepreneurial heads of monopolistic enterprises. In the perfect capitalistic world she creates in her books, the original entrepreneur is forever with the company (the good, strong business owners don't die -- unless there's a damn "liberal" there to take it over and run it into the ground), the entrepreneurs in her books are always hard-working and focused, long hours, geniuses of their day, successful due to being "smart" rather than corrupt....you get the picture. Not exactly like Kenny Lay....or the heads of ANY of the huge corporations that run the world currently.

But...she's a great writer, in my opinion. I just don't agree with her, and any thinking person could drive a Mac Truck through the holes in her logic (logic that she is SO proud of, by the way).

Ayn Rand just forgets to consider that the world is populated more with regular old humans than with superhuman, perfected, economic robots....and she thinks the money guys are so far superior to the regular folks that they should be the designated "Gods" and "the ones with the most money get to decide everyone's fate". (Again...sound familiar?)

All progressives should read her books...at least Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged. That way you can TOTALLY PREDICT what will come next with the people currently taking over the world. All you have to do, in order to become that kind of political psychic, is to add the reality of absolute greed, corporate welfare, drugs and sexual perversion to her characters, and you will see EXACTLY what is going on in the world right now. And where it WILL go, if left unchecked.

In other words, she twists, denigrates and distorts the reality of the left, and idealizes and deifies the reality of the right. And she leaves no grey area in between.

So...how real can THAT be? Well, the republican and libertarian groups believe everything she says, and they're currently running the world into the ground.

:kick:
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regnaD kciN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 02:36 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. Actually, I think her writing sucks, too...
It's utterly awful -- can even third-rate romance novelists have such purple prose, such less-than-one-dimensional characters (caricatures, actually), such unbelievable, speechifying dialog?

It's so bad it's good...in the sense that I was so disgusted by it, I was never in danger of falling for her so-called "philosophy."

;-)
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ArwenJade Donating Member (47 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 03:16 AM
Response to Original message
34. Oh, God....
My mom tried to get me to read Atlas Shrugged a few years ago. I couldn't finish it. Her writing style annoyed me, but most of all I couldn't stand the philosophy. If anything it showed me that the left is the only way for me.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. Hi ArwenJade!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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WhoCountsTheVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-22-04 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
38. I read Atlas Shrugged when I was 19
I though it was a midly interesting - and at times unintentionally hilarious - sci-fi story. I'm still amazed that anyone takes her "philosophy" seriously. Sure, she may be pulp fiction, but I thought it was pretty good.

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