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Ayn Rand and the World She Made Audiobook, by Anne C. Heller Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Anne C. Heller Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9781483076089
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Ayn Rand is best known as the author of two phenomenally best-selling ideological novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, which have sold over twelve million copies in the United States alone. Through them, she built a cult following in the late 1950s and became the guiding light of Libertarianism and of White House economic policy in the 1960s and ‘70s. Her defenses of radical individualism and of selfishness as a “capitalist virtue” have permanently altered the American cultural landscape.

Anne Conover Heller traveled to Russia to discover Rand’s Russian and Jewish roots and her misunderstood youth, interview surviving acquaintances, and unearth new archival material. The result is the most comprehensive, revealing and unbiased biography of one of the most important figures of the twentieth century.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”

    Ayn Rand

  • “If we perceive Rand as the sum of her unique experiences—and editor/journalist Heller goes to great lengths to describe just how exceptional they were—we begin to appreciate Rand as an incomparable thinker, even if we don’t support her ideas.” 

    Library Journal, Best Books of 2009

  • A 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction
  • One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Architeacher | 6/13/2011

    " Two recent Rand biographies were reviewed in the London Review. I chose this one as an introduction Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism. Now armed with Heller's insights to Rand's life and character, I feel more confident in approaching her intellectual legacy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 6/9/2011

    " Very good biography of Ayn Rand.

    The author really seems to have taken the time to understand Rand and is MUCH, MUCH better than Burns in portraying Rand's ideas and actions on her overall philosophy, including metaphysics, aesthetics, economics and politics!!!!


  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 5/21/2011

    " Great book on a fascinating personality: well-paced and engrossing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 5/13/2011

    " Well, Ayn Rand was not the Dagny Taggart I expected, although obviously a brilliant philosopher (whether or not I agree with her). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/24/2011

    " Very deep and revealing autobiography. It's not a love fest or a hard hitting criticism of Rand. I think anyone who loves or hates Ayn Rand will find it compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodi | 1/1/2011

    " Gives an interesting back story to Rand and the world she created. Highlights some of the many contradictions of her life and philosophy as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Romeo | 12/31/2010

    " la vie et la philosophie d'ayn rand .. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 12/28/2010

    " Still a little anti Ayn Rand as a person. But all biographers have to chose a side when the subject is so controversial. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cabaret25 | 12/23/2010

    " This book was rather exhausting in the end. It was so detailed and so well-researched that I ended up feeling overwhelmed by the information. This is most unequivocally *the* biography to read on Ayn Rand. "

About the Author

Anne Conover Heller has written for such publications as Vogue, Mademoiselle, TriQuarterly, and Esquire. She is the former fiction editor of Esquire and Redbook and a former executive editor at Condé Nast Publications.

About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway.