Sunday, February 24, 2008

PARC: Two More Points

1. The Surprise Party From Hell

In PARC, James Valliant says that the surprise party to celebrate the publication of Atlas Shrugged was thrown by Random House (the novel's publisher). I pointed out that this contradicts the Brandens' accounts, which say the Collective threw the party. When I wrote my critique of PARC, I did not have the Sures recollections of Rand published in 2001 as Facets of Ayn Rand. The ARI has now made the book available on the web. The Sures confirm that the Collective threw the party.

This is a minor mistake on Valliant's part, but it should be remembered that he claims that no one has found any mistakes in his book. (Valliant did cite Facets for Rand's view of surprise parties.)

When I confronted Valliant on this mistake in 2007, he claimed he based his account on "various sources." Maybe Mr. Valliant should be a bit more skeptical of his (alleged) sources.

2. Alan Greenspan

In my most recent post on PARC, I pointed out that Passion of Ayn Rand has a favorable blurb from Alan Greenspan on the back. Greenspan sided with Rand after the Split and knew Rand well until she died. I said that Greenspan had "vouched" for the book. I was taken to task by Valliant and his supporters. After all, Greenspan said only that the book was a "fascinating insight" into Rand's life.

Apparently, Official Objectivists Diana Hsieh and Gus Van Horn aren't too happy with Greenspan's "endorsement" of PAR. According to Mr. Van Horn:

Diana Hsieh notes of Greenspan that, "He endorsed Barbara Branden's smear of a biography with a laudatory quote printed on the back cover. (You can see it for yourself on Amazon.)" So much for Greenspan remaining loyal to Ayn Rand on a personal or philosophical level.

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