"Atlas Shrugged" was published in 1957 by Ayn Rand. It is her fourth and last novel. She considered it to be her magnum opus. It contains romance, science fiction, and mystery. The book also promotes Rand's philosophy of … [Read more...] about Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982) was born in Russia where she attended school then immigrated to the United States in 1926. Rand began writing at a young age and was writing screen plays at the age of nine. Her father was a successful businessman and pharmacist. He owned the pharmacy and the building it was located in.
Rand attended school with the younger sister of Vladimir Nabokov, Olga. As children the two girls argued politics with Rand on the side of republican ideas. The October Revolution changed the life of Rand's family. Her father's business was destroyed and they were homeless. The family fled to the Crimean Peninsula. She graduated high school at sixteen while living in the Crimea. After the Russian Civil War was over, they moved back to Russia.
Rand was among the first women to be allowed to attend college in Russia. She enrolled in at Petrograd State where she studied social pedagogy and philosophy. There she was introduced to the works of Plato and Aristotle. She also studied Nietzsche. Rand was multi lingual, able to read in French, German and Russian so she absorbed the works of many other great authors such as Hugo and Rostand.
Just before graduating Rand was purged from the college with a group of 'bourgeois' students and was reinstated and allowed to graduate due to complaints from some foreign scientists that were visiting the college at the time.
After graduating college in 1924 with a degree in history, Rand went on to study at The State Technicum for Screen Arts in Leningrad. While there she wrote her first published work, an essay on a Russian actress and found her nomenclature to write with. She chose Rand which may be a nod to her birth name, Rosenbaum and the first name of Ayn which would be Hebrew (she was Jewish) for eye.
In 1925, Rand came to America to visit relatives and fell in love with the country. She wanted to pursue her dream to become a screen writer and was lucky enough to have relatives in Chicago that set her career in motion. She moved to Hollywood where she took odd jobs and was discovered by Cecil B. DeMille. He gave her a job as an extra in his film, The King of Kings. That is where she met her husband, Frank O'Connor, an aspiring young actor. They married in 1929. Rand obtained citizenship in the United States in 1931. She was never able to get immigration papers for her mother and sisters to emigrate, too.
In 1932 she made her first sale of a screenplay to Universal Studios. The screenplay was Red Pawn, a spy thriller. Her first success as a novelist was with "The Fountainhead", a dystopian novel. Rand's next major novel was "Atlas Shrugged". A novel about moral philosophy. It promoted Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. A tenet that believes that reality exists independently of consciousness, and that people can use logic and moral purpose to find happiness. The idea is to deal with external things and not lay stress on emotions. She believed that reason was the best way to acquire knowledge.
Since Rand's death interest in her work continues to increase. In 1987 the Ayn Rand Society was formed to discuss her ideas. Her work lives on in colleges and universities around the world.