Fifty-five years after "Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand is more in the news than ever. "Ayn Rand Explained" is an accurate and riveting account of Rand's life, work, and influence, with the emphasis on her ideas. The book covers Rand's career, from youth in Soviet Russia to Hollywood screenwriter and then to ideological guru; her novels and other fiction writings; her work in ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics; her influence on--and personal animosity toward--both conservatism and libertarianism. Rand's Objectivism encompasses the ethics of rational egoism ('The Virtue of Selfishness'); dedication to rational thinking and acting; rejection of faith in the supernatural, personal freedom from political interference, and a moral defense of limited government and laissez-faire. Objectivism was first promoted through the Nathaniel Branden Institute, headed by Rand's young protege and designated heir. The Institute's phenomenally rapid growth was abruptly cut short when Rand expelled Branden and his followers in 1968. Today Objectivism is represented by different factions, notably the Ayn Rand Institute and the Atlas Society. This is a revised, updated edition of "The Ideas of Ayn Rand" (1991), including new information on Rand's rocketing influence, new stories about her personal relationships, and new analysis of her life and ideas.