Saturday, February 10, 2007

PARC's "Main Point"

James Valliant has accused me (and others, I think) of ignoring the "main point" or "major substance" of his book.

I get the impression from reading PARC that Valliant's "main point" is that the Brandens books are unreliable and in fact dishonest, thus their "picture" of Rand should not be trusted. PARC makes its points by an analysis of the Brandens books taken either individually (internal contradictions), a comparison among them (gross inconsistancies) and a comparison to other, more reliable version of events (such as, apparently, Jeff Walker's TARC).

There are six chapters of the book and the general approach described above is taken by Valliant in each chapter. I discuss chapters 1, 2 and 3 in depth. Chapter 4 concerns the split with the Brandens which, as I point out, I am unable to discuss based on the lack of public evidence. Chapter 5 concerns Frank O'Connor and focuses on Branden's claim concerning his alcoholism. I do not discuss this chapter because it has been discussed in depth. Chapter 6 is a minor chapter which summarizes some of his points.

If there is another "point" to Valliant's book, it would appear to be that Nathaniel Branden deceived Rand in 1968 both personally and professionally. Granted, I don't discuss this, but I do concede in my review that Nathaniel Branden's dishonesty vis-a-vis Rand should be weighed in evaluating his memoirs.