The Silence of James Valliant's Defenders, Part 4

Neil Parille's picture
Submitted by Neil Parille on Sat, 2009-01-03 14:00

One of PARC's greatest hits is Jim's claim that Barbara Branden doesn't tell her readers that Allan Blumenthal (and by implication his wife Joan) left Rand (rather than the other way around).

This is PARC, page 75 (the reference to "these men" is Allan Blumenthal and Henry Holzer):

Here is Passion, p. 386:

This is Passion, p. 388:

One "could never have guessed it"?

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Neil Parille's picture

Here is my response from my essay:


In the revised version of this chapter posted on, Valliant modified his discussion of this break in part.


Despite the fact that Ms. Branden herself relates the Blumenthals' account, most writers dependent on The Passion of Ayn Rand nonetheless suggest that it was Rand who had initiated these breaks. In his recent history of the libertarian movement, Brian Doherty, citing Ms. Branden, flatly states that Rand "kicked out of her life" all but two of her original "Collective"–Greenspan and Peikoff. (See, Radicals for Capitalism, p.232.)


Valliant is again mistaken. The discussion on page 232 in Radicals for Capitalism is apparently a conclusion that Rand’s conduct forced many people to leave her (in fact, it does not cite Passion). When Doherty explicitly discuss the break with the Blumenthals (on pages 537-38), he is clear that they decided to leave Rand (and cites Passion). Valliant doesn’t say what other accounts are supposedly dependent on Passion.




James S. Valliant's picture

I understand that he left because it was too rude, that he, timely, "flounced."

"Death by Glop"

John Donohue's picture

"Death by Glop"


Brant Gaede's picture

Neil is banned from SOLOP.



James S. Valliant's picture

This is where you know you can find the revision, right here at SOLOPassion:

And this is the new text:

"Such differences, while they certainly would have justified Rand in breaking with these men—if only to defend and protect the integrity of Objectivism—do not appear to have been decisive. Indeed, it was not Rand who ended the relationship with either of them, but, rather, it was they who left Rand.

"Despite the fact that Ms. Branden herself relates the Blumenthals' account..."

This was posted more than six months previous to this new posting, now, of course, a year old. You posted a comment yourself at that thread at the time. This new post happened when I was ill and not posting at SOLO or anywhere else. Also, apart from dropping the context of the rest of the chapter, we had discussed this issue already in some detail.

Do you really think that this exercise on your part is an honest one?

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