Robert Campbell

100 Voices

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Scott McConnell's long-awaited compilation, 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand, is now out.

I received my copy this afternoon.

I expect it to be a valuable source, despite the fact that the interviews are edited (hardly unusual in volumes of this kind, but obviously a sore point where Rand is concerned); there are no interviews with anyone who broke with Rand or was expelled, either in her day on in the ARI era, are included; and the chronology (p. xvi) gives "May 1968" as the date that the Nathaniel Branden Institute closed.

As a New American Library publication by a long-time employee of the Ayn Rand Archives (though he is not currently employed there), the book essentially required Leonard Peikoff's approval (even though Peikoff is not mentioned in the preface).

Robert Campbell

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Robert,

My copy didn't arrive, so I downloaded the Kindle version. I've only skimmed it, but a few preliminary observations.

1. As you mention, no interviews with anyone with whom Rand split (Blumenthals, Kalbermans, Smiths, Holzers, etc.) and minimal mention of them in the published interviews. Even someone who was excommunicated by Peikoff (I'm thinking of Reisman) isn't interviewed and is mentioned only once.

2. No discussion (one way or the other) of Frank's drinking, not even in the interviews of Eloise, Ventura and Ilona.

3. A few unfortunate jibes at the Brandens. Otherwise little mention of them.

4. Occasional admissions that Rand was at times unpleasant.

5. Leonard Peikoff's interview (I assume he gave one) not excerpted. Ditto with Peter Schwartz.

6. I only saw one place where there is a hint that the Objectivist movement was rather cultish (someone mentioning that everyone bought the same kind of dinner tables as Rand).

-Neil Parille

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There is at least one shocking revelation so far: Ayn Rand had serious discussions with Raquel Welch about playing the role of Dagny Taggart. I knew about Farrah Fawcett, but not Raquel. Wow. That would have added a new dimension to the movie role that was definitely not in the book. (Or did I miss something...?) :wub:

150093.jpg

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There is at least one shocking revelation so far: Ayn Rand had serious discussions with Raquel Welch about playing the role of Dagny Taggart. I knew about Farrah Fawcett, but not Raquel. Wow. That would have added a new dimension to the movie role that was definitely not in the book. (Or did I miss something...?) :wub:

150093.jpg

Raquel was in -Fantastic Voyage-. one of the choicest scenes in this sci fi movie was the crew of the min-sub trying to rip anti-body cells of of Raquel's luscious body. It was a hoot!

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Interesting.

My mental image of Dagny is a sensually lean and proportionate woman, not a "zaftig" type like Raquel.

Also, never liked her as an actress.

Adam

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Interesting.

My mental image of Dagny is a sensually lean and proportionate woman, not a "zaftig" type like Raquel.

Also, never liked her as an actress.

Adam

In my earlier years I never went to see a Raquel movie so I could admire her acting skills. She is a competent actress, however, and I learned many years ago that she is a big Ayn Rand fan.

I had never encountered the word "zaftig" before. Had to look it up. Yup, it definitely fits. B)

Ghs

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Robert,

My copy didn't arrive, so I downloaded the Kindle version. I've only skimmed it, but a few preliminary observations.

1. As you mention, no interviews with anyone with whom Rand split (Blumenthals, Kalbermans, Smiths, Holzers, etc.) and minimal mention of them in the published interviews. Even someone who was excommunicated by Peikoff (I'm thinking of Reisman) isn't interviewed and is mentioned only once.

2. No discussion (one way or the other) of Frank's drinking, not even in the interviews of Eloise, Ventura and Ilona.

3. A few unfortunate jibes at the Brandens. Otherwise little mention of them.

4. Occasional admissions that Rand was at times unpleasant.

5. Leonard Peikoff's interview (I assume he gave one) not excerpted. Ditto with Peter Schwartz.

6. I only saw one place where there is a hint that the Objectivist movement was rather cultish (someone mentioning that everyone bought the same kind of dinner tables as Rand).

-Neil Parille

Horror or horrors!!: "No discussion (one way or another) of Frank's drinking."

How is this possible? Doesn't everybody know this issue is of Monumental Metaphysical Importance?

Neil: why does this issue seem to obsess you so?

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Interesting.

My mental image of Dagny is a sensually lean and proportionate woman, not a "zaftig" type like Raquel.

Also, never liked her as an actress.

Adam

Here appeal was never as an actress. He image is grade one whacking material

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I was also surprised to learn of Rand's interest in Raquel Welch as Dagny Taggart.

Ms. Welch is 5 feet 2 inches tall and, as has been noted, zaftig.

Not the way Dagny is presented in Atlas Shrugged.

Robert Campbell

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Interesting.

My mental image of Dagny is a sensually lean and proportionate woman, not a "zaftig" type like Raquel.

Also, never liked her as an actress.

Adam

Here appeal was never as an actress. He image is grade one whacking material

Ba'al Chatzaf

If you are a "tit" man, I am sure your statement is accurate, but some of us are not.

Adam

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Interview with producer Michael Jaffe, who worked with Ayn Rand to produce Atlas Shrugged as a TV miniseries in the 1970’s:

Scott McConnell: Whom did Miss Rand have in mind for the roles?

Jaffe: She thought Raquel Welch was Dagny. Period. I think she was responding to the lush, flowing hair and the full, sensuous lips and the extraordinary beauty.

100 Voices, p. 516

Yeah. The hair and the lips.

Back in the 1970s, I stood in front of the Hotel Bel Air for an hour to get her autograph after a movie premiere, desperately hoping for a glimpse of her hair and lips…

I actually think she was (and is) a good actress, but faced the same obstacles to being taken seriously as an actress as she would as the operating vice-president of a transcontinental railroad. Good luck on getting railroad engineers to follow your orders when they can’t stop staring at your cleavage.

Perhaps Ayn Rand considered all this, and decided to use the power of her fiction as an object lesson for the insidious evil of the mind-body dichotomy.

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Interview with producer Michael Jaffe, who worked with Ayn Rand to produce Atlas Shrugged as a TV miniseries in the 1970's:

Scott McConnell: Whom did Miss Rand have in mind for the roles?

Jaffe: She thought Raquel Welch was Dagny. Period. I think she was responding to the lush, flowing hair and the full, sensuous lips and the extraordinary beauty.

100 Voices, p. 516

Yeah. The hair and the lips.

Back in the 1970s, I stood in front of the Hotel Bel Air for an hour to get her autograph after a movie premiere, desperately hoping for a glimpse of her hair and lips…

I actually think she was (and is) a good actress, but faced the same obstacles to being taken seriously as an actress as she would as the operating vice-president of a transcontinental railroad. Good luck on getting railroad engineers to follow your orders when they can't stop staring at your cleavage.

Perhaps Ayn Rand considered all this, and decided to use the power of her fiction as an object lesson for the insidious evil of the mind-body dichotomy.

Dennis:

I will never get used to the American males obsession with breasts.

They are not where the action resides.

Adam

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Interview with producer Michael Jaffe, who worked with Ayn Rand to produce Atlas Shrugged as a TV miniseries in the 1970's:

Scott McConnell: Whom did Miss Rand have in mind for the roles?

Jaffe: She thought Raquel Welch was Dagny. Period. I think she was responding to the lush, flowing hair and the full, sensuous lips and the extraordinary beauty.

100 Voices, p. 516

Yeah. The hair and the lips.

Back in the 1970s, I stood in front of the Hotel Bel Air for an hour to get her autograph after a movie premiere, desperately hoping for a glimpse of her hair and lips…

I actually think she was (and is) a good actress, but faced the same obstacles to being taken seriously as an actress as she would as the operating vice-president of a transcontinental railroad. Good luck on getting railroad engineers to follow your orders when they can't stop staring at your cleavage.

Perhaps Ayn Rand considered all this, and decided to use the power of her fiction as an object lesson for the insidious evil of the mind-body dichotomy.

Dennis:

I will never get used to the American males obsession with breasts.

They are not where the action resides.

Adam

Adam,

Perhaps as a "Preview of things to come"? :o A "coming attraction"??? ;)

Actually, I prefer to think of it (er, her) as a complete package. :D

On the other hand,...these days, I'll take what I can get! :blush:

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Dennis:

I will never get used to the American males obsession with breasts.

They are not where the action resides.

Adam

Adam,

We like to have something to do with our hands.

Personally, I have always agreed with a comment made by Burt Reynolds in a Playboy interview years ago. I will have to paraphrase:

“Large breasts? I think they’re over-rated. After you play with them for 4 or 5 hours, it gets boring.”

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Dennis:

I will never get used to the American males obsession with breasts.

They are not where the action resides.

Adam

Adam,

We like to have something to do with our hands.

Personally, I have always agreed with a comment made by Burt Reynolds in a Playboy interview years ago. I will have to paraphrase:

"Large breasts? I think they're over-rated. After you play with them for 4 or 5 hours, it gets boring."

Dennis:

Another indication of how little American men understand the power in their hands. As the ole philosopher used to say, it is not the size of the wand that gets the rabbit out of the hat, but the skill in the hands of the magician!

Adam

Edited by Selene
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Dennis:

Another indication of how little American men understand the power in their hands. As the ole philosopher used to say, it is not the size of the wand that gets the rabbit out of the hat, but the skill in the hands of the magician!

Adam

Adam--You could be right. I don't know about other American men, but in my own case, I'm usually too busy enjoying myself to care. This is one area where American women seem to appreciate a certain level of selfishness in their American partner. But I can only speak from my own experience. Sex may be one area where cultural differences play a legitimate role, and I don't want Michael to accuse me of tribalism.

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Dennis:

Another indication of how little American men understand the power in their hands. As the ole philosopher used to say, it is not the size of the wand that gets the rabbit out of the hat, but the skill in the hands of the magician!

Adam

Adam--You could be right. I don't know about other American men, but in my own case, I'm usually too busy enjoying myself to care. This is one area where American women seem to appreciate a certain level of selfishness in their American partner. But I can only speak from my own experience. Sex may be one area where cultural differences play a legitimate role, and I don't want Michael to accuse me of tribalism.

I know that I am right.

Adam

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I know that I am right.

Adam

But of course you are. There, there, now.

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I know that I am right.

Adam

But of course you are. There, there, now.

Vere? Vere?

Adam

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PDS,

Frank's drinking doesn't obsess me. However, we've been told that theBrandens' books are smears and that one of these days (years, centuries) the evidence will appear demonstrating that they are liars.

Why doesn't the Archives tell us what they know on this and other debated issues?

-Neil Parille

Edited by Neil Parille
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PDS,

Frank's drinking doesn't obsess me. However, we've been told that theBrandens' books are smears and that one of these days (years, centuries) the evidence will appear that they are liars, etc.

Why doesn't the Archives tell us what they know on this and other debated issues?

-Neil Parille

Who gives a crap of "what we've been told"? Quit worrying about it. Go build a skyscraper or something.

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Neil,

I want to thank you for all the work you did (and still do) on discrediting the manipulators and bullies.

We are not close, but I consider you a friend.

Michael

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Horror or horrors!!: "No discussion (one way or another) of Frank's drinking."

How is this possible? Doesn't everybody know this issue is of Monumental Metaphysical Importance?

Neil: why does this issue seem to obsess you so?

PDS,

Whether Frank O'Connor drank to excess is of Monumental Metaphysical Importance to those who believe that Ayn Rand was morally perfect, or who want others to believe that she was.

People like this guy:

Umm, he was certainly not an alcoholic—uh, I gather that that’s a charge that’s been raised against him. I saw that man regularly day and night. In my entire life, I saw him have too much to drink once. And the manifestation of it was that he overtipped the waiter, which Ayn Rand asked him in some length why he did… I defy an alcoholic to survive 20 minutes in her apartment!

I believe, if you want some idea of objectivity in biography, the source of that was … story, so far as I can pin it down, was a cleaning woman who found empty liquor bottles in his studio after he died. He used those bottles to mix paints in.

Eloise Huggins (the "cleaning woman") and Don Venture were Barbara Branden's sources on this issue.

Ilona Royce Smithkin was added as a source by Anne Heller.

Was it too much to expect Scott McConnell to ask each of these individuals about Frank's drinking—and to publish their answers?

Robert Campbell

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I have to agree. These details like Frank's drinking and the Remington Rand story are of little inherent interest, and have been made important only because of Valiant's authorized libels.

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Robert,

No doubt McConnell did ask these, and other people, about Frank's drinking habits. (Incidentally, I don't think Anne Heller says Ilona Smithkin was a source. Burns implies she was.)

That their responses weren't published and the official story is still that the bottles were used for mixing paint suggests that Barbara got it basically correct.

According to Peikoff, the source was "a cleaning woman." Actually, Eloise was Rand's full-time cook and housekeeper of 17 years and appears to have been a fairly sophisticated person.

Peikoff said:

I believe, if you want some idea of objectivity in biography, the source of that was … story, so far as I can pin it down, was a cleaning woman who found empty liquor bottles in his studio after he died. He used those bottles to mix paints in.

However, Peikoff, according to Valliant, later said that Eloise was upset, feeling that she had been misquoted. Valliant said Eloise was "hopping mad." How does he know this?

I'll mention that Valliant implied that 100 Voices was going to support PARC. I haven't finished reading it, but I don't get that impression thus far.

-Neil Parille

Edited by Neil Parille
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