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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

Cerf:

Oh yes. When Hiram left, several authors left with him.

Ayn Rand I had never met, but I had heard of her philosophy, which I found absolutely horrifying. The Fountainhead was an absorbing story, nonetheless. She tells a hell of a story.

Q:

I love that book.

Cerf:

Ayn Rand was very dubious about coming to Random House, she told Hiram, because her sycophants had told her that we were way over on the left, publishing a lot of leftist books and that she didn't belong there. But this rather intrigued her, being published by a progressive and liberal house rather than one where she would ordinarily be expected to go. Furthermore, she had heard about me. This was one of these extra dividends that you get from being known.

She had lunch with Hiram Haydn and me one day at the Ambassador Hotel, now torn down, and asked me a lot of questions. I found myself liking her. I had not expected to.

Q:

She's really bright, isn't she?

Cerf:

Yes. She peers right through you. She has piercing eyes and has a wonderful way of pinning you to the wall. You can't make any loose statements to Ayn Rand because she hops on you and says, “Let us examine the premises.” I like



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