Unformatted text preview: Early Life and Education Ayn Rand was born Alissa Rosenbaum in 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Rand was raised in an upper-middle-class, European-oriented family, in the midst of the mysticism and nationalism of Russia. Having taught herself to read, Rand, at the age of 8, became captivated by the heroism in a French-language serial adventure titled The Mysterious Valley . At the age of 9, Rand decided to become a writer, inspired especially by Victor Hugo's novels. Hugo's writing helped arm her against the fatalistic view of life that dominated Russia, a country she later described as "an accidental cesspool of civilization." In February of 1917, Ayn Rand witnessed the first shots of the Russian Revolution, and later that year she witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution as well. In order to escape the fighting, her family went to the Crimea, where Rand finished high school. The final Communist victory brought the confiscation the Crimea, where Rand finished high school....
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- Fall '08