Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal (1967) was my first real introduction to individualist and free market ideas when I was a teenager.
I only read Ayn Rand’s novels later after this one and The Virtue of Selfishness. I had been interested in politics and current events, but rather confused from reading “liberal” and “conservative” literature. Like a bolt of lightening, her ideas clarified and crystallized the idea of the free individual and the moral basis of a free society.
Shortly after reading these works I had an opportunity to meet Ayn Rand at the Nathaniel Brandon Institute headquartered in the lower level of the Empire State Building in New York City. She spoke with a small group of us for about 30 minutes. Truly an impressive person.
She was dressed in a red denim outfit with a railway conductor’s-like cap. Her husband, Frank O’Conner, was in a Nehru suit with beads. Nathaniel Brandon ran around nervous the entire time. There was a game room area, in which some attendees were playing Monopoly. There was also dancing. Rand seemed very light on her feet. Definitely, a memorable visit.