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Ayn Rand Two Column Notes

Alex Riehm
1) Dates of her life:

Birth: February 2, 1905

Death: March 6, 1982

2) Place of Birth/Death:

Birth: Petrograd (Leningrad), Russia

Death: New York City, New York

3) Education:

a) Studied history and philosophy at University of Leningrad

b) Education under Soviets developed method of abstract thought and
thinking in principals.

4) Giftedness:

a) reading and writing by age six

b) Story about a British officer triumphing over an Indian Rajah made a
strong impression at the age of seven
c) Victor Hugo and Dostoevski made a large impression on her showing
characters of both extremes good and evil
d) Determined to become writer at age of nine
e) At age thirteen, took one day to decide she was an atheist

5) Life Altering Events:

a) Adolescent during Russian Revolution

b) Married Frank OConner in Hollywood in 1929
c) Lived in Leningrad until 1925 and moved to Chicago in 1926
Moved to Hollywood after only a few months in Chicago
Lived in New York City in the late 30s and early 40s and moved back
to California in 1945
Retired to New York City in 1951
Moved numerous times to lecture Objectivism at many high-rate colleges

6) Occupations:

a) Worked as guide in historical museum in Leningrad after graduation

b) Worked as an extra and a wardrobe girl for RKO pictures in Hollywood
c) Worked as a script reader/writer

d) Mainly worked on writing and took temporary jobs when funds ran out
e) Lectured her philosophy known as Objectivism
7) Associations:

a) Religiously, worked out reasons for atheism at age thirteen in one day
b) Learning in reverse is the only way to learn thinking in principals:
First, listen critically and decide to agree or not, then formulate reasons why
c) Attended to the rationality of Aristotle because he believed that fiction
was of greater importance than history
d) A registered Republican, supported campaigns of Barry Goldwater,
Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and was opposed to Ronald Reagan and his
opposition to abortion

8) Major Writings:

a) We the Living
b) Anthem
c) Penthouse Legend
d) The Fountainhead
e) Atlas Shrugged

9) Appearance:

Short and squat, large luminous eyes, heavy Russian accent, formidable
presence in room and when arguing cause.

10) Personality:

Sense of humor but slow to laugh, admits she cannot make smalltalk, nongregarious, homebody, workaholic

11) Idiosyncrasies:

collects cigarettes and stamps, chain smokes, listens to Rachmaninoff, reads

Mickey Spillane

12) Significant Quotes:

Just as a mans wealth is self-made, so is his soul self-made. John Galt

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with
his happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement
as his noblest activity, and reason his only guide

13) Five Interesting Facts:

a) Witnessed the Kerensky Revolution, which she supported, and the

Bolstevik Revolution, which she opposed

b) Family moved to Crimea to avoid the fighting

c) Began colossal Atlas Shrugged in 1946 and it was published in
d) The Fountainhead was rejected by twelve publishers.
e) She and her husband, Frank OConner, were married fifty years
until his death
14) Essentials of Objectivism

a) Concept of man as a heroic being

b) Own happiness as moral purpose of life
c) Productive achievement as noblest activity
d) Reason as his only absolute

15) Definition of Objectivism

Integrated system of thought that defines the abstract principals by

which a man must think and act if he is to live the life proper to man

16) Principals of Objectivism

a) metaphysics: rejects belief in supernatural and any claim that

individuals or groups create their own reality
b) epistemology: rejects mysticism or skepticism, claiming reason is
mans only means of acquiring knowledge
c) human nature: rejects determinism by any outside force
d) ethics: survival as a rational being, not physical survival; greatest
achievement in life is ones own happiness; rejects altruism
e) politics: government only exists to use force only against those
who initiate physical force, for men exist as traders
f) esthetics: the purpose of art is to concretize the artists
fundamental view of existence.