Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand

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My Years with Ayn Rand
Judgment Day, My Years with Ayn Rand (first edition).jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author Nathaniel Branden
Country United States
Language English
Subjects Nathaniel Branden
Ayn Rand
Publication date
  • 1989 (1st edition)
  • 1999 (revised edition)
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 436 (1st edition)
ISBN 0-395-46107-3 (1st edition)
ISBN 0-7879-4513-7 (revised edition)
OCLC 581085790

Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand is a 1989 memoir by Nathaniel Branden that focuses on his relationship with his former mentor and lover, Ayn Rand. Branden released a revised version, retitled as My Years with Ayn Rand, in 1999.


In a review for The New York Times, Susan Brownmiller said the memoir was "an embarrassing venture" that included "a massive dose of psychobabble".[1] In a review for National Review, Joseph Sobran described Branden as having "a layer of California psychobabble" and said, "At times he is rough on himself, but not nearly rough enough."[2] A review in The Blade of Toledo said the book offered "interesting glimpses of Ayn Rand and her life", but also said, "It is noticeable that in most situations Branden emerges on the side of right, or at least lesser evil."[3]

Liberty magazine editor R. W. Bradford called the book a "valuable work" that "provides hitherto unpublished details" about Branden's relationship with Rand, but said it provided an "unflattering self-portrait" of Branden that made Bradford more sympathetic towards Rand. He also complained that Branden's discussions of his former associates in the Objectivist movement sometimes showed "cruelty" and "contempt" toward them.[4]

The book was also reviewed in such publications as the Los Angeles Times,[5] The Washington Post,[6] Chronicles, and Kirkus Reviews.

Revised edition[edit]

In the 1999 revised edition, Branden says he updated the book both to add and remove material, as well as to correct "factual errors" and "unintended and misleading implications" from the first edition. He also hoped "to present a more balanced portrait of certain people with whom my relationships were at times adversarial."[7]


  1. ^ Brownmiller, Susan (June 25, 1989). "The Man Who Loved Ayn Rand". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Sobran, Joseph (August 4, 1989). "Book Reviews: Judgment Day: My Years with Ayn Rand". National Review. Archived from the original on December 5, 2009. 
  3. ^ Ferguson, William (September 24, 1986). "Lovers dissolved in an intellectual volcano". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. p. D–6. 
  4. ^ Bradford, R.W. (July 1989). "Who Is Nathaniel Branden?". Liberty. 2 (6). [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Abrams, Garry (May 30, 1989). "Ayn Rand: Fountainhead of a New Fury". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Freund, Charles Paul (September 10, 1989). "The Objectivists Of Their Affections". The Washington Post. 
  7. ^ Branden, Nathaniel (1999). My Years with Ayn Rand. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. p. viii. ISBN 0-7879-4513-7. OCLC 39391081. 

External links[edit]