Rand created Dagny as a female character on a par with any folk hero or medieval knight, …or presidents daughter. Dagny Taggart is the force behind Taggart Transcontinental Railroad. Gladstein (1984) describes Dagny as “that rarity in American fiction – a heroine who not only survives, but prevails.” (p. 685). Ivanka told an interviewer she can tell her father when he’s wrong and he listens. She also gave the impression he’s not often wrong.
Ayn Rand, born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1905, was 12 when the communists and Lenin shot their way to power. She witnessed the crushing immorality of Communism first hand. She saw her father impoverished and her family driven to the brink of starvation by the irrational but powerful Soviet revolution, an experience that forged her contempt for all notions of the collective good and, especially, for the state as a mechanism for ensuring equality. The Soviet Union eventually destroyed itself but not before people like Stalin, Molotof and Mao tortured and murdered 120 million. Rand was correct about the evils of Communism and of course Socialism, two principles rejected by the free world.
Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are eminently great reads. A book that explains Ayn Rand’s philosophy which undergrids all of her work was written by Leonard Peikoff and was reviewed by Rand herself before publication; “Objectivism, the Philosophy of Ayn Rand” commonly referred to as “OPAR”. Many readers of these books say: “they changed my life”. Quite a compliment and which explains why so many leading figures pay so much attention to Ayn Rand. So do I.