Ayn Rand believed fervently that individuals could make a major difference in the world, at least individuals who were powerful, talented, and creative, whether in industry or in the arts. This is part of the appeal of Rand to people like me, who are talented and creative but live obscure un-influential lives. I'm not that much into the politics, but I'm very much attracted to Rand's vision of creative people as heroes. Reading Rand always gives me a self-esteem boost. But it is rather like caffeine. It doesn't last, so you need to have more. Interestingly, Jennifer Burns' book describes Rand's use of amphetamines during the writing of ATLAS SHRUGGED and afterward. ATLAS does have the delirious feeling of something written while on speed. I think I'll stay with espresso.