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The New Criterion

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Notes & Comments

March 2010

The Ayn Rand follies

On self-love, good & bad.

Readers who peruse The New Criterion website—and we hope you are one who does—may have been arrested by the outpouring of commentary that greeted “Ayn Rand: Engineer of Souls” by Anthony Daniels in our February issue. As of this writing it has attracted 242 responses—and what responses they are! There are a handful of dispassionate comments, admiring or critical as the case may be, but the vast majority are wildly, hysterically vituperative. They make for an interesting case study. When we turned to Dr. Daniels to write about Anne Heller’s new biography of Rand, we did so because of his skills as a cultural critic. Judging by the response to his essay, we might have turned to him for his skills as a psychiatrist specializing in cases of acute megalomania, cognitive dysfunction, and kindred pathologies. Many deserve an honored place in the annals of unintended comedy, but taken ...

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 28 March 2010, on page 1

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