The three-author panel included Anne Heller (Ayn Rand and The World She Made); Shoshana Milgram (Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged); and Mimi Gladstein (Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers and Atlas Shrugged: Manifesto of the Mind). The discussion was preceded by a showing of the Academy-Award-Nominated documentary, “Ayn Rand and a Sense of Life,” (available for rent from Netflix), with Introductory Remarks by Jeff Britting, co-producer and music composer for the film. The event was immensely well received: several hundred people attended (there was standing room only), and the Q&A was lively and stimulating. Youtube link for viewing this event: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArtIdeasRenaissance (click on "see all" for 11 segments)
A reception in the Club’s parlors followed the program, where authors signed their books, and attendees continued with conversation and questions. All in all, it was a most successful event for the Literary Committee, the Club, and members and guests.
As many people know, Russian-born Allisa Rosenbaum (1905) managed her way from the Communist-oppressed USSR to her dream country of America at age twenty-one to become the world famous author-philosopher Ayn Rand. Surely one of the most hotly controversial yet undoubtedly influential authors of the 20th century, her books have not only become steadily selling classics the world over, but within the last couple of years have taken on a vibrant new life, soaring again to best seller status. In 2009, combined sales of her four novels totaled more than one million copies, and her nonfiction book sales have reached top sales as well. As for her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged, more than seven million copies of the novel have been sold since its publication in 1957; one-half million last year alone.
When asked to explain this sudden revival of interest, the president of the Ayn Rand Institute replied, "People are discovering the prescience of Ayn Rand's writing. They're seeing the policies of Atlas Shrugged acted out by our government officials today. They're looking for answers on how to stop government intrusion in our lives. Atlas Shrugged provides those answers, and many more."
As the philosopher of what she called Objectivism, Ayn Rand boiled it down to this: "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." The showing of the documentary “Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life” was underwritten by The Ayn Rand Institute. The filming for Youtube was underwritten by ART to preserve this fine literary event.
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