Ayn Rand's Ideal being published by ARI in The Library Posted July 22, 2015 A few observations on Anne C. Heller. I have had some occasion to see her at three of the Atlas Society's summer conferences, and one sponsored at the CATO Insitiute in Washington, D.C. (with which she shared the podium with Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market, which was published around the same time) including some opportunity to ask her questions after several of her "presentations" (which in every instance, she deferred to just take Q&A from the attendees). One of these, held in Alexandria, I also had an extended conversation with her, along with several other conference attendees, at lunch. Not surprisingly for an author on tour to attract interest in her just published biography, Miss Heller's answers in interviews are carefully tailored to the presumptive audience. As far as I could tell, she never contradicted any previous statement, but definitely was quite aware of who the likely audience was. So, for liberal audiences, she would sometimes answer in a manner which could best be described as veiled (or not-so-veiled!) sarcasm about Rand's personality and her books; while with audiences presumably favorable toward Rand, her responses were more neutral.In at least one case that I recall, she was asked by an interviewer that as Rand's biographer if she would have liked, if Rand was still alive, to have had the opportunity to meet and interview Rand. Her retort was, "Well, NO!" (usually accompanied by laughter from the studio audience) Now, for a biographer searching for as complete a picture as possible of her subject, I found that a rather astonishing, if not incredulous, reply. So, in the Q&A session at the Atlas Society/Free Minds conference in Alexandria in 2009, I asked her. Attendees had been pitching "softball" questions at her, and she seemed startled that anyone would ask her such a thing! Her reply was brief, along the lines of "I had enough information."Later, during lunch, I asked her what she had thought about the recent article on Alternet that severely condemned Rand for the short story (unpublished and unknown even by Rand's closest associates prior to its posthumous publication in The Journals of Ayn Rand, ed. by David Harriman) The Little House, asserting that it showed Rand's admiration for serial killer, William Hickman, and citing Hickman as the model for her whole philosophy and as the real source of inspiration for her later novels. Heller replied that that was grossly overstating its importance to Rand's later works. But now, however, in her book review of Ideal, in Time magazine, Heller has reversed her opinon and now agrees that serial killer Hickman was the motive force for all of Rand's later works, illustrating her hatred of the common people.