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Oh yes. When Hiram left, several authors left with
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.
I love that book.
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.
She's really bright, isn't she?
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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