BORN ALISSA ROSENBAUM into a middle-class family in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1925 she immigrated to the United States, where she achieved success and fame. She is best known for objectivism, which rests on reason and fact and emphasizes individualism, limited government, and classical liberal protection of life, liberty, and property. She wrote both fiction and nonfiction works.

The communist Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent civil war destroyed middleclass life in Russia and forced the family to the Crimea for a time, but Rand returned to Petrograd (the new Soviet name for St. Petersburg) to attend the University of Petrograd, where she studied history, philosophy, and literature. Her studies of American history and politics and the excesses of communism led her to admire American ...

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