Atlas Shrugged movie blog reminder

If you haven’t already done so, you may want to add the Atlas Shrugged movie blog to your blogroll or newsreader. Here are some recent headlines likely to interest fans of Ayn Rand’s novels:
Atlas Shrugged movie has booking service
Major new verdict threatens to bankrupt John Alialoroâ??s company, if not overturned
The Atlas Shrugged movie will be rated PG-13

Study moral foundations of capitalism at Clemson, on a scholarship, this summer

The Clemson Institute’s annual student summer conference on “Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and the Moral Foundations of Capitalism” will be held in late May this year. Students must apply by March 1st. For details, go here. (h/t Diana Hsieh)

Scholarships are available from The Atlas Society

From Will Thomas:

1) Graduate Scholarships: Application Deadline March 1, 2010
The TAS Graduate Scholarships program is looking for graduate students with a high potential to contribute to future work on Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and whose progress toward a degree could signally benefit from scholarship support. We offer up to $11,000 over the year-long period August 2010-July 2011. Students with a solid, systematic understanding of Objectivism and who are pursuing Ph.D. or masterâ??s degrees in philosophy, political science, history, psychology, and related fields are eligible. Full application information is online here.
2) Summer Seminar scholarships
The Atlas Society will be holding our 20th Summer Seminar conference, planned in cooperation with the Free Minds Foundation. The Summer Seminar is planned for June 30 through July 8, in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. The latest updates on the Summer Seminar plans are online here.
While Free Minds handles the business side of the conference, we at TAS advise on program content and will provide key talks and courses. In addition, we at TAS will offer scholarships for students at all levels who need financial assistance in order to attend the Summer Seminar. These scholarships can cover event registration costs (tuition) and/or room and board costs at the Summer Seminar. We will post application information on our website,, when Summer Seminar registration officially opens.

Early review of Anne Heller's new biography: "Ayn Rand and the World She Made"

Atlasphere member Timothy Sandefur has published a rousing review of Anne Heller’s new biography Ayn Rand and the World She Made.
The review itself often seems more about what Sandefur thinks of Rand than about what Heller wrote, so I found it hard to divine much from this review. But it does sound like the new biography will provide worthwhile reading for those of us fascinated by Rand’s writing and thinking.
Here were Sandefur’s key observations about the biography:

Anne Hellerâ??s biography doesnâ??t pull punches. She is as honest and as objective and as forthright as Randâ??s own principles would demand. She pays Rand the compliment of treating her like a serious person who deserves respect, praise, criticism and blame. She goes out of her way to explain statements by Rand that are easily misunderstood and frequently misrepresentedâ??and she rightly criticizes her regrettable traits and expressions. Her book is meticulouslyâ??indeed, very surprisinglyâ??well researched. It is a story of serious, devoted, brilliant, talented, and flawed people. It is not the dreary finger-pointing weâ??ve seen too much of in the past decadesâ??Nathaniel Branden hardly comes off as the innocent victim hereâ??but a work of serious, yet sympathetic journalism. In the end, it is deeplyâ?¦one might say romanticallyâ?¦tragic. […]
Whatâ??s great about Hellerâ??s book isnâ??t that it reveals more facts than Barbara Brandenâ??s biographyâ??although it does; there are many interesting new detailsâ??or that it is so well written; itâ??s that Ayn Rand And The World She Made is so honest, so, in a word, objective. Rand is a real person to Anne Hellerâ??a brilliant, clever, sometimes over-the-top writer; an astonishingly original thinker with, alas, too little education in the history of philosophy; a passionate, intense, idealist who, sadly, imposed such a weird rigor on herself and others as to leave her dark and alone at the end; a woman who believedâ??and rightly soâ??in the indomitability of the mind and its capacity for greatness, but who was capable of breaking long friendships over trivialities, fudging the nature of her marriage, and watching hours of game shows and Charlieâ??s Angels. […]
Hellerâ??s book does have its flaws. I think she tries too hard to show a Jewish or a Russian influence on Randâ??possible, but hardly a major influence, I thinkâ??and she sometimes slightly oversimplifies Randâ??s views in a way that will play into the hands of her eager detractors. For instance, Heller writes that Randâ??s philosophy is basically an elaboration on Randâ??s childhood desire to get â??what I want.â? Well, of course, itâ??s not just about doing what you feelâ??as Heller acknowledges elsewhere in the bookâ??but Rand certainly would say that â??what you wantâ? is and must be important to you, and that a world that denies you â??what you wantâ? simply because you want it is a profoundly evil one.
These are very minor quibbles with an otherwise outstanding bookâ??written just as a biography ought to be. Itâ??s the best book Iâ??ve read so far this year and I very highly recommend it.

I will see if I can line up a review soon for readers of the Atlasphere columns.

Week-long seminar for high school and college students in Chicago

From and Atlasphere member Marsha Enright:

To High School and College Students
Are you prepared to face the stifling ideological conformism and collectivism rampant at most colleges – and can you do so while keeping your intellectual integrity intact?
Do you want to gain powerful knowledge and skills that will equip you for college, for success, for life?
If your answer is “yes,” then join us for a unique “total immersion” learning experience in one exciting and challenging week of intensive classes, interactive sessions, off-campus expeditions, and rewarding camaraderie.
“The Great Connections: Mastering the Intellectual Tools that Transform a College Education into Lifetime Success,” will be held in Chicago, July 25th to August 2nd, sponsored by the Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute, the foundation for the prospective College of the United States.
For more information and to enroll, go here. Anyone wishing to enroll can mention this announcement and obtain a $250 discount off the seminar fee.

Graduate Scholarships and Graduate Seminar 2009

The Atlas Society, by way of William Thomas, has announced the following graduate programs:

*1) Graduate Scholarships: Application Deadline March 1, 2009.*
We at TAS are looking for graduate students with a high potential to contribute to future work on Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and whose progress toward a degree could signally benefit from scholarship support. We offer up to $11,000 over the year-long period August 2009-July 2010. Students with a solid, systematic understanding of Objectivism and who are pursuing Ph.D. or masterâ??s degrees in philosophy, political science, history, psychology, and related fields are eligible. Full application information is online at: .
If you are interested in possibly applying for a scholarship, donâ??t hesitate to contact me.
*2) Graduate Seminar in Objectivist Method, planned for August 2â??7, 2009*
David Kelley and I are pleased to announce that we will be holding our annual seminar for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, planned for George Washington University in Washington, DC in the first week in August this year. The Graduate Seminar is an intensive week-long seminar for around 10 students.
Instruction in 2009 will focus on the distinctive Objectivist methodology of approaching philosophical issues. The syllabus will include aspects of philosophical analysis such as defining concepts, analyzing the logical structure of arguments, keeping context, organizing ideas in terms of essentials, and employing induction and deduction appropriately. Students will also learn presentation skills by taking part in the presentation of a 10-part course on Objectivism. David and I will be the lead instructors.
The Graduate Seminar, including room and board in Washington, is free to full-time students and scholars, and applicants may also request up to $300 in travel money.
A syllabus and application form will both be posted online shortly.
The early application deadline for the Graduate Seminar is May 15, 2008. Applicants will be notified about their acceptance by May 23. Preference will be given to early applicants in acceptance and travel stipend award decisions. Applicants who need a decision before May 23 are welcome to request an early decision at the time that they apply.
Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis through July 10, 2008. Applicants after May 15 will be notified regarding their acceptance on a rolling basis, but no later than July 17. Acceptance of such late applicants will depend on available space and funds.

Ayn Rand, meet Amazon Kindle

The next time I re-read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, I suspect it will be on the new Amazon Kindle, which looks pretty fantastic.
It appears to solve several of the problems I have experienced, over the years, with reading on my Treo and my iPhone:

  • The Kindle is more like looking at paper than looking at a CRT or LCD screen
  • No glare when you’re reading outdoors or in front of a window
  • Larger screen, which means more readable fonts as well as less time spent scrolling and waiting for the screen to load

And it solves several problems associated with books, as well:

  • Easier to hold in your hand. I’m guessing here from the videos, since I haven’t actually held one yet. But I’ve always been annoyed by the awkward way you have to use your fingers to hold open a new paperback. The Kindle looks easier.
  • No more accumulating hundreds of books on bookshelves that you read once, at most, and then have to lug from one home to the next, in heavy boxes, when you move.
  • Less money spent on books that you may or may not actually read.
  • Less eye strain. At night, when my eyes are tired, I could have the Kindle “read” to me. Ditto when I’m driving and want to listen to a book.

I like it.

UPDATES – Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship

I’ve been working for several months now with Stephen Hicks of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship to create their new web site, which we just launched recently.
They’re doing some terrific work to promote an Objectivist-inspired vision of entrepreneurship, and I highly recommend signing up for their beautiful Kaizen newsletter (instructions below).
Below is an announcement Dr. Hicks recently sent out to members of his mailing list. We’ll also be publishing some of their interviews soon at the Atlasphere, so stay tuned for those as well.

My new Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship at Rockford College is now one year old, and I am writing to let you know of our accomplishments to date, highlighting especially the Objectivist connections.
This month we launched our website: The website was designed by Joshua Zader, whom you may know as the founder of the Atlasphere. The CEE website has information about our programs and publications — and a web log that will track developments in business ethics and entrepreneurship. I invite you to check it out and to subscribe to its RSS feed to follow our activities over the coming years.
The second issue of Kaizen, our glossy newsletter, was also published this past week. In our first issue we featured an interview with architect John Gillis. In our second we interview painter Michael Newberry. The interviews focus on the excitement and challenges of entrepreneurship in the worlds of architecture and painting and include full-color images of Gillis’s and Newberry’s major works.
I invite you to check them out on our website. Each future issue of Kaizen will feature an interview with a successful, entrepreneurial achiever, along with news of CEE’s activities.
I am happy also to announce that CEE has hired four talented people with Objectivist connections.
Shawn Klein as full-time instructor in Philosophy. Shawn is a Ph.D. candidate and has been a frequent and popular lecturer at TAS conferences. He is teaching courses for us in Business Ethics, Ethical Theory, and is developing a new course in Sports Ethics.
John Reis is adjunct professor of Philosophy. John is a long-time Objectivist with twenty-five years of business experience in Chicago, and he has been an adjunct professor at Elmhurst College for many years. John is putting that experience to good use for us at Rockford College by teaching our course on Business and Economic Ethics.
Anja Hartleb-Parson, our research and publications manager, is a Ph.D. student in political philosophy who has participated in both TAS- and ARI-sponsored conferences. We are pleased that while she is pursuing her doctorate Anja has been helping us with our publications projects and has lectured for us on Objectivism and issues in political philosophy, including the Kelo case, free speech, and Ayn Rand’s We the Living.
We also hired he very talented Christopher Vaughan, who directed and edited my video documentary on Nietzsche and the Nazis. Chris also directed and edited the twelve-minute promotional video about the Center which appears on our website, and he developed the design for our Kaizen newsletter. Chris is working with me on a number of new, creative projects, which you will hear more about over the coming year.
In its first year CEE has reprinted and made available at four important essays by Objectivist scholars. The essays are on topics directly relevant to CEE’s mission in business ethics and entrepreneurship. The essays’ primary audience is students in the various courses CEE sponsors at Rockford College. But we are also making them available through other outlets, as we would like them to have as wide a reading audience as possible.
Tara Smith’s “Money Can Buy Happiness” is republished from the journal Reason Papers.
David Kelley’s “The Entrepreneurial Life” and “Is It Nobler to Give than to Create?” are re-published together from Navigator magazine.
David Mayer’s “Thomas Jefferson: Man versus Myth” is republished from MayerBlog.
And my own “Ayn Rand and Contemporary Business Ethics” is republished from the Journal of Accounting, Ethics, and Public Policy.
These four essays are the beginning of what CEE plans will be a continuing series of essays by professionals on key issues in business ethics, entrepreneurship and related fields. I hope you find the series to be of interest.
We have had a busy and productive first year and are working hard on our next projects.
Let me close inviting you to receive a complimentary print copy of our newsletter, Kaizen. If you are interested, please send your postal address to us at CEE [at] And please spread the word. Your support is appreciated.
Stephen Hicks, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Executive Director, The Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship

Ayn Rand Lexicon Now Available Online!

The Ayn Rand Lexicon is an indispensible tool for any serious student of Ayn Rand’s ideas. And now it’s available online.
From the Ayn Rand Institute’s announcement:

Through a special arrangement with the publisher, the editor and the Estate of Ayn Rand, ARI has received exclusive permission to present The Ayn Rand Lexicon — now available in its entirety, free of charge, to Web visitors. Edited by Harry Binswanger, and with an introduction by Leonard Peikoff, this important book presents all of the key ideas of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, in an encyclopedic reference of stunning breadth and depth.

Visit for full access.