A friend asked a question recently in which I thought a few of you may be interested, or have your own answer. This was mine:
Q: Many people have viewed/read Rand's works but they did not become Objectivists (Paul Ryan, Clarence Thomas, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Vince Vaughn, Sandra Bullock, Rob Lowe, etc). What was your journey to become an Objectivist and how do we best encourage people to truly learn the values of Objectivism?
A: For me, I took a year off after school to read everything I could get my hands on, to find answers to some of the questions to which we'd never even been introduced. But everything I read was disappointing -- even ideas that started well I could see take a wrong turn, then another, and then continue on this wrong course, becoming steadily worse and progressively more ludicrous and tangled.
Everything I read was disappointing, until I was introduced to Atlas Shrugged. I was 200 pages in before I realised I would have to start over. I'd missed most of it.
Instead of heading off track, or taking a twisting turning trail like so much else that I'd read, this felt immediately like someone taking a bold, direct line -- a straight, direct route that cut away all the bullshit. It was intoxicating!
And I couldn't answer it. I couldn't answer her at all, not on her fundamentals. So I read all the criticisms I could lay my hands on, but none of which went down to the root.
And I read all of her other books I could lay my hands on too. Which did.
I reckon it was Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology that finally locked it in for me.
I still reckon that one is the key.