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npeters
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Ayn Rand, from what I have read, learned virtually everything about politics from Isabel Paterson. I have also read that they had a falling out over the idea of God and religion. But, most importantly, supposedly there are some letters out there that illustrate their debate and disagreements. Does anybody have any idea where I can find these? I havn't read the journals or letters, so maybe they're in that book or something. Any help is appreciated.

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Ayn Rand, from what I have read, learned virtually everything about politics from Isabel Paterson.  I have also read that they had a falling out over the idea of God and religion.  But, most importantly, supposedly there are some letters out there that illustrate their debate and disagreements.  Does anybody have any idea where I can find these?  I havn't read the journals or letters, so maybe they're in that book or something.  Any help is appreciated.

I doubt that Rand learned virtually everything from Paterson. She probably learned somethings. I think that it was more like they were learning, inducing, the same political ideas, at the same time, and thus they could easily relate.

You can find letters in The Letters Of Ayn Rand edited by Michael Berliner. Also there are scattered comments in The Journals of Ayn Rand edited by David Harriman.

Ayn Rand was the originator and vanguard of a philosophy and moral code that challenged two thousand years of bad ideas. Paterson was simply not as rebellious and not a genius. That Ayn Rand wrote fiction was a huge value in developing her philosophy, since it is a sort of model building. The amount of thinking to create We The Living and The Fountainhead is a mother load, that I doubt Paterson could ever come close to.

Americo.

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Ayn Rand, from what I have read, learned virtually everything about politics from Isabel Paterson.  I have also read that they had a falling out over the idea of God and religion.  But, most importantly, supposedly there are some letters out there that illustrate their debate and disagreements.  Does anybody have any idea where I can find these?  I havn't read the journals or letters, so maybe they're in that book or something.  Any help is appreciated.

No, Rand did not learn “virtually everything about politics” from Isabel Paterson but did call Paterson's The God of the Machine, "The best and most complete statement of the basic principles of our side, the greatest defense of capitalism I have ever read. It does for capitalism what Das Kapital did for the Reds." Since Paterson was a generation older and was steeped in the lore of American freedom long before Rand even arrived on these shores, it is simply not true that, as someone here said, they were "inducing, the same political ideas, at the same time." Rand owed a debt to Paterson and she acknowledged it by continuing to recommend Paterson's great book for years after their falling out. If you want to know more about their relationship I recommend The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America, by Stephen Cox (Transaction, 418 pp., $39.95). Cox has previously published numerous scholarly works on Ayn Rand.

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If you want to know more about their relationship I recommend The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America, by Stephen Cox

Thank you. However, I am more interested in their particular debate over the idea of God. Both are profoundly intelligent, and I would be thrilled to peruse their arguments amongst each other. Will I find anything of that nature in this book, or just some random details about how she was friends with Ayn Rand?

Also, can anybody confirm that there are letters to Paterson in Rand's published journals?

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Thank you.  However, I am more interested in their particular debate over the idea of God.  Both are profoundly intelligent, and I would be thrilled to peruse their arguments amongst each other.  Will I find anything of that nature in this book, or just some random details about how she was friends with Ayn Rand?

Yes, as I've said, read Cox's book.

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Tom,

Thanks for the clarification. My comments were greatly speculation and inspired by the "virtually everything" idea. I do still have to read Paterson's book. And this aspect of Rand's life is very interesting to me as most are. For example I did not know that Paterson was much older than Rand.

Americo.

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Thank you.  However, I am more interested in their particular debate over the idea of God.  Both are profoundly intelligent, and I would be thrilled to peruse their arguments amongst each other.  Will I find anything of that nature in this book, or just some random details about how she was friends with Ayn Rand?

Also, can anybody confirm that there are letters to Paterson in Rand's published journals?

In _The Letters of Ayn Rand_, there is a whole chapter devoted to Miss Rand's letters to Isabel Paterson. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any of Paterson's letters.

There is other correspondence of interest to the idea of God in that book, though, including letters to and from a Priest. As Paterson was not a theologist, those are probably more relavent anyway. I haven't read _Journals of Ayn Rand_, but I wouldn't be surprized to find entries regarding Paterson there. They were rather close collegues (as well as friends) for a while.

But judging from the letters, I don't think their eventual astrangement was over what Ayn Rand refered to as Paterson "sometimes turning into a mystic." Rand had an issue with that from the very beginning of their relationship. But, from my understanding, there was an incident in which Rand invited Paterson to her house, and Paterson was rude to some of Rand's friends. That's when they stopped seeing much of each other. It seemed to be more a personal thing than an ideological one. As spokeswomen for capitalism, they continued to work together and recommend each other's books for years or decades afterwards.

Since Paterson was a generation older and was steeped in the lore of American freedom long before Rand even arrived on these shores, it is simply not true that, as someone here said, they were "inducing, the same political ideas, at the same time."

A generation is not a lifetime. Paterson and Rand were, indeed, close friends and collegues for years. A significant portion of Paterson's writing was during and after this period. Although Paterson was a very proud woman, and not quick to acknowledge everyone who happened to inspire some idea of hers, she did admit to gaining new insights from Ayn Rand- specifically, regarding the *moral* basis of Capitalism, rather than simply the practical.

That's why Cox's introduction to God of the Machine, in the edition I own, was so baffeling to me. His implication was that Ayn Rand's main problem with Paterson was her failure to acknowledge that particular debt. But in their personal correspondence, as evidenced in _Letters of Ayn Rand_, she does plainly acknowledge it. I don't know if she did so publicly or not. She also plugged Rand's books regularly in her newspaper column. It seems to me that Cox takes a lot of unnecessary shots at Ayn Rand. And his description of Paterson as a "Conservative" writer is also baffeling.

And your post, as quoted above, puzzles me in a similar manner. Is your point that their ideas weren't being induced, or that they weren't the same political ideas, or that they weren't being induced at the same time? What is your evidence for this, besides that Paterson began writing about 20 years before Rand? Do you think that, once a writer starts their career, their ideas are already determined and they don't develope any further? ...Or what?

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