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A History of Ayn Rand

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01/06/2010Jeff Riggenbach

Ayn Rand's books sell between eight hundred thousand and a million copies a year.

Her first novel We the Living was admired by Mencken. Night of January 16th opened on Broadway. Her major novel The Fountainhead (1943) was "masterful". In the fifties, Rand (50) and Nathaniel Branden (25) begin a romantic affair with the consent of their spouses. Rand's husband Frank O'Conner played the role of her supportive wife. Atlas Shrugged (1957) was Rand's magnus opus. When Branden fell in love with a young girl, Rand spurned him and shut down the Nathaniel Branden Institute. The Objectivist movement imploded. Many then drifted into the libertarian circles.



Contact Jeff Riggenbach

Jeff Riggenbach is a journalist, author, editor, broadcaster, and educator. A member of the Organization of American Historians and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, he has written for such newspapers as the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle; such magazines as Reason, Inquiry, and Liberty; and such websites as,, and His books include In Praise of Decadence (1998), Why American History Is Not What They Say: An Introduction to Revisionism (2009), and Persuaded by Reason: Joan Kennedy Taylor & the Rebirth of American Individualism (2014). Drawing on vocal skills he honed in classical and all-news radio in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston, Riggenbach has also narrated the audiobook versions of numerous libertarian works, many of them available on


Podcast episode for 6 January 2010. Jeff Riggenbach is a journalist, author, editor, broadcaster, and educator. [19:34]

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