In 1958, Nathaniel Branden founded what would become the Nathaniel Branden Institute and launched the Objectivist movement through a course of twenty lectures he called “The Basic Principles of Objectivism.” In 2009, that lecture series became a book and an important historical record. This review captures the essence of those lectures while also taking a close look at Branden’s philosophical odyssey. It attempts to recount whether and how far the man whom Ayn Rand saw as the living image of John Galt distanced himself from the guidance he had once given in the years after NBI closed its doors forever.

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