February 2, 2006 – Ayn Rand’s 101st Birthday

February 2, 2006

Ayn Rand 101:
An Instructive Birthday Celebration

Featuring speakers

Edward L. Hudgins
Executive Director, The Objectivist Center

Understanding the World
through Ayn Rand’s Eyes

On her 101st birthday, Ayn Rand still offers us perspectives that explain the confused and chaotic world around us … and point us toward a better one.

Edward L. Hudgins is the Executive Director of The Objectivist Center. Before this he was director of regulatory studies for the Cato Institute and editor of their Regulation magazine. Previously he was at the Heritage Foundation.

The goal of The Objectivist Center is to help create a new culture in our society, a culture with the entrepreneurial spirit of the new economy, a culture that affirms the core Objectivist values of reason, individualism, freedom and achievement.

The Center promotes these values by articulating their meaning and implications for contemporary issues in every field of cultural significance: intellectual trends, the arts, psychology and personal growth, social manners and mores, business issues and achievements, law and politics.

TOC’s Summer Seminar this year will be in Orange, CA, from July 1 through 8. The Center magazine, ”The New Individualist,” reviews cultural and political trends from an individualist and Objectivist perspective.

TOC publishes and posts regular op-eds and “Reports from the Front.” It puts on a number of events and its scholars give public talks around the country and appear in most of the major news media outlets.

Erika Holzer, Novelist

Ayn Rand:
My Fiction-Writing Teacher

Erika Holzer’s book Ayn Rand: My Fiction-Writing Teacher: A Novelist’s Mentor-Protege Relationship with the Author of Atlas Shrugged offers an insider’s view of the unique learning relationship that developed in the mid-sixties between Ayn Rand and this lawyer-turned-novelist.

Holzer’s first two novels are Double Crossing and Eye for an Eye. This second became the film starring Sally Field and Kiefer Sutherland, directed by John Schlesinger.

Holzer’s remarkable and constantly expanding learning experience lasted four years while she and her husband were Ayn Rand’s lawyers.

Given this once-in-a lifetime opportunity to explore issues of craft and fiction-writing technique, Holzer made the most of her one-on-one literary discussions with Rand. In the process, she virtually learned to write at Ayn Rand’s knee.

Now you can relive that experience in this book. But it’s more than “how-to” guide for would-be fiction writers.

Chris Sciabarra, co-editor of the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies and author of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical says:

“Damn you, Erika, for taking me away from my work and compelling me, like a man possessed, to read your book from cover to cover. It’s humane, dramatic, humorous, touching, terrific on every level.

“You’ve written a literary autobiography that is as much a superb guide for fiction writers as it is a touching tribute to your fiction-writing mentor, Ayn Rand. You illustrate — through a tour de force exploration of your own evolving craft — the many important factors at work in the creative process….

“This brilliant memoir offers a significant contribution to Rand studies, intellectual history, and literary theory.”

As this book makes clear, Holzer learned from a master, the experience at times exhilarating, at times painful or embarrassing, more often than not, sheer fun.

In the book you’ll learn of Rand’s explanation for what appears to be “writer’s block” — and how to overcome it.

You’ll come to understand why Holzer and Rand never tired of casting the heroes and villains in “Atlas Shrugged”.

You’ll be there the night Holzer dissected a badly constructed Hitchcock Iron Curtain thriller. Inspired by Rand’s mantra of “plot, plot and plot,” she vows on the spot to write a plot-driven novel featuring heroic men and women — the kind of people you could root for. The result is Holzer’s human rights espionage drama, “Double Crossing.”

You can read the two short stories in this book which were sparked by very different ideas. The first, a Mafia-flavored drama, reflects Holzer’s love of justice and respect for principled people willing to take risks and make hard choices. In the second story — based partly on family history, partly on a wildly romantic notion of pure imagination — the narrator grows from an insecure young woman to someone about to take wing.

This book was designed by Junto moderator Iris Bell.

You can read its table of contents, a sample chapter, the covers and reviews at www.erikaholzer.com.

Dr. Marty Lewinter
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Purchase College

Ayn Rand
and Western Civilisation

Dr. Marty Lewinter spoke at Junto this August on The History of Mathematics: Five thousand years of cleverness. He’s a professor of mathematics and computer science at Purchase College (SUNY), where he also teaches Culture and Society in the West.

He’s a guitarist, poet, composer for small string and reed ensembles, Objectivist and benevolent. Plus he gives Junto’s newsletter its Joke of the Month.

Dr. Lewinter is a professor of mathematics and computer science at Purchase College (SUNY). He’s the author of The Saga of Mathematics: A Brief History with William Widulski and of A Friendly Introduction to Graph Theory with Fred Buckley.

He’s published over 65 journal articles, mostly in combinatorics and graph theory.

Dr. Lewinter has a contagious passion for mathematics. He lectures at many high schools, colleges, and civic organizations.

He composes neo-tonal classical music for small string and reed ensembles and for classical guitar, which he plays.

His mathematics PhD is from CUNY and music MFA is from Purchase College.

Marsha Familaro Enright
Educator, psychotherapist and writer

On Planning an Objectivist College

Marsha Familaro Enright, has been an educator, psychotherapist and writer for many years. She’s co-founder and president of the 16 year old Council Oak Montessori Elementary School. She runs a seminar for adults, Ayn Rand’s Vision, through The Fountainhead Institute.

She taught Ayn Rand’s theory of politics for the Free Market Society of Chicago and was a board member to its successor organization, The Henry Hazlitt Institute, which producedFree-Market.Net (now run by the International Society for Individual Liberty).

She’s spoken at The Objectivist Center Summer Seminar for over 10 years. She was a curriculum developer and teacher for Camp Indecon, a summer camp aimed at communicating the fundamentals of a rational and practical, reality-based philosophy to children aged 9-16.

In 1987 she founded one of the oldest Objectivist salons, The New Intellectual Forum, in Chicago. It’s still active.

Among her published research articles examining issues of Objectivism in relation to developmental psychology and neuropsychology is If Emotions Aren’t Tools of Cognition… What Are They? An Exploration of the Relation Between Emotion and Reason. It’s in theJournal of Ayn Rand Studies.

She’s currently developing a new college, the College of the United States, to be informed by Objectivism, the Montessori Method and Classical Liberalism.

We gather at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month and begin our organized meeting around 7:30. The meeting continues until about 10.?Discussions are lively, but polite. Participation by attendees is highly encouraged.

The Roosevelt Hotel
45 East 45th St.
Between Madison & Vanderbilt (Park) Avenues
(Next month, we will be back at the General Society Library.)

Subway: 4, 5, 6, 7 to Grand Central – 42nd St.,
B, D, F, V to 42nd St. – Sixth Ave., or
1, 2, 3, 9, N, Q, R, S, or W to Times Square – 42nd St.

Admission is free, and no reservation is necessary.

Junto focuses on libertarianism, Objectivism — the philosophy of Ayn Rand — and investing.

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