Robert Campbell Posted October 21, 2009 Share Posted October 21, 2009 Ellen Stuttle has lately been trying to make hay out of a nasty characterization of Ayn Rand as a "frightful mess."Here is a chunk of the Kirkus Review from whence it came. It was published on December 15, 1999; it's a predominantly positive treatment of The Ayn Rand Cult by Jeff Walker.Interviews with prominent former Objectivists reveal Rand's repulsively didactic character, her intolerance for criticism or disagreement of any kind, and her vindictiveness when spurned by a disciple. Walker does not stop at characterizing Rand as a cultist. He seeks to discredit her altogether by showing that, despite her brainwashed followers' claims that Rand was the greatest thinker since Aristotle, everything she wrote was either derivative (from a combination of Jewish novels), devoid of literary value (he performs a painful count of monstrously overused words in Atlas), or both. That Ayn Rand was inflated beyond her merit will shock nobody but Objectivists, who will never read this book. Walker's exposé is a bit too shrill, repetitive, and even snide to rise persuasively above the people he describes—but he does convey vividly the frightful mess that was Ayn Rand.Well, since Walker's book reads like the work of a C- student who constructs a term paper by stitching index cards together, and he liberally makes stuff up (e.g., his assertion that Rand named herself after a certain gold-bearing formation in South Africa), we may conclude that people who believe everything Walker said regard Ayn Rand as a "frightful mess."Whoopee!And now we're supposed to imagine that another frightful mess of a book by Jim Valliant is needed as a corrective?Gimme a break.Robert Campbell Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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