The Most Important Privately Owned Archive of Ayn Rand Manuscripts
This collection is the most important privately owned archive of Any Rand Manuscripts.
AYN RAND’S ATLAS SHRUGGED
Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s unprecedented argument for capitalism-man’s right to exist for his own sake, to pursue the work of his choice, to keep the rewards of his labor. She argues that capitalism demands the best of everyman and rewards him according to his ability and ambition.
In 1955 Rand set out to write the climatic exposition of her philosophy of Objectivism in Atlas Shrugged –John Galt’s radio address broadcast as the world devolves into economic collapse. She spent two years writing this speech which would encapsulate all of the major issues of her novel. The manuscript in this collection, “Consciousness, Purpose and Happiness” is an early draft written in September, 1955 as she developed her ideas for the most important single part of Atlas Shrugged.
In order to understand the railroad business, the core business she focused on in Atlas, Ayn Rand read everything she could including, “This Fascinating Railroad Business” by Henry. In the collection is her copy of this book, annotated by her throughout.
“Conceptual Foundations of Business; an Outline of the Major Ideas Sustaining Business Enterprise in the Western World” was another research source and it, heavily annotated by Rand, is in the collection together with another six books, all annotated by her as well. (A special copy of The Fountainhead presented to her and signed by all the movie cast members, as well as a copy of the screenplay, is also in the collection).
Twenty of the approximately thirty surviving privately owned pages of the original heavily corrected and revised manuscript draft of Atlas Shrugged are in the collection. Rand gave these pages to her assistant and first biographer, Barbara Branden, and they came from her more than thirteen years ago. Branden had asked Rand for them in order to preserve a record of how Rand developed her novel (nearly all other pages were discarded after transcribing by typists). These manuscript pages give extraordinary insight into the enormous thought and work Rand put into the writing of Atlas Shrugged which, in its final published version, is exceptionally successful in being devoid of unnecessary words and thoughts. Ayn Rand’s philosophical thoughts and ideas flowed with amazing clarity in her personal interviews and it is very interesting to see how these clear philosophical beliefs required great development to be put into a fictional sphere. The finished manuscript of Atlas Shrugged is now in the Library of Congress.
As Ayn Rand finished the last page of Atlas and wrote “The end” she stood up from her desk and Branden snapped a photograph of her. The original is in this collection; it appeared in Branden’s biography of Rand. (Branden described the above pages from Atlas Shrugged as “my prized possession”).
THE FASCIST NEW FRONTIER
The Fascist New Frontier is the title of one of Ayn Rand’s most provocative essays. Dated December 16, 1962, the fifty-three page autograph manuscript was for a speech delivered two days later in Boston. In it she attacks the New Frontier as a version of fascism: “…A man’s position is determined not by his productive ability and achievement, but by political pull and force…..if it is right to sacrifice ability to incompetence or success to failure, or achievement to envy….”
AYN RAND’S OBJECTIVIST ANALYSIS AND OPINIONS OF THE CRUCIAL ISSUES OF THE EARLY 1960s
The Autograph Manuscript drafts of her twenty-four (of twenty-six) columns written for publication in the Los Angeles Times newspaper, 261 pages, 8×10 inches, June through September, 1962. In her first column she defined her philosophy in Atlas Shrugged and then her Objectivist view that would examine the issues of the times in her next twenty-four columns: “Objectivism holds that: 1. Reality exists as an objective absolute-facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears. 2. Reason… is man’s only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action and his basic means of survival. 3. Man-every man-is an end in himself, not the means to the end of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself for others nor others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and his own happiness is the highest moral purpose in his life. 4. The ideal political economic system is capitalism-full, complete, unregulated, laissez-faire capitalism….men deal with one another not …as masters and slaves but as traders by free voluntary exchanges to mutual benefit….the use of government acts only… to protect man’s rights…. A complete separation of state and economics…as the separation of state and church….”
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