By Joseph Kellard
I’ve been a member of Harry Binswanger’s HBL List for several years now. In a recent post, Dr. Binswanger asked members to take part in a survey he is conducting for his list, “designed to gather data on the background of people who become Objectivists,” he wrote.
Among the questions asked were: When did you first read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged? What were your pre-Objectivist political leanings? Most questions offered members a list of options to choose from, such as “Explicitly pro-capitalist and/or pro-freedom” to “No particular views/interest in politics” to “Explicitly socialist or communist.” Other questions pertained to parents’ attitudes toward religion, as well as: “How were you introduced to Ayn Rand's novels?”
This last question offered members the option to briefly explain themselves in writing. So here is what I wrote:
“When I was about 12, my sister read the 25th anniversary edition of The Fountainhead, and I was intrigued by the novel’s title, the ‘cool’ spelling of the author's name and the interesting painting on the cover. During my teens, I began lifting weights and read bodybuilding magazines that featured Mike and Ray Mentzer, two top bodybuilders whose articles periodically mentioned Ayn Rand or included quotes by Howard Roark. Finally, around my early to mid-20s, I picked up a book of Playboy interviews, a compilation that included Ayn Rand. After reading that interview, I was finally inspired enough to read The Fountainhead, and the rest is a glorious, life-changing history.”
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Copyright © 2007 Joseph Kellard