Ayn Rand's books sell between eight hundred thousand and a million copies a year.
Her first novel We the Living was admired by Mencken. Night of January 16th opened on Broadway. Her major novel The Fountainhead (1943) was "masterful". In the fifties, Rand (50) and Nathaniel Branden (25) begin a romantic affair with the consent of their spouses. Rand's husband Frank O'Conner played the role of her supportive wife. Atlas Shrugged (1957) was Rand's magnus opus. When Branden fell in love with a young girl, Rand spurned him and shut down the Nathaniel Branden Institute. The Objectivist movement imploded. Many then drifted into the libertarian circles.
Podcast episode for 6 January 2010. Jeff Riggenbach is a journalist, author, editor, broadcaster, and educator. [19:34]