Nathaniel Branden died December 3rd 2014. The picture above features Nathaniel, myself, and my now wife (then girlfriend) at his home in California, December 2012. Nathaniel was a personal hero of mine.
He is featured on the header of Declarationism.com for his contributions in psychology and political philosophy (specifically their connection).
My wife and I spent an entire afternoon in his home with him. I spoke with him about his work and how thankful I was that he had created it. Most of what we spoke of related to the two books I had with me of his, The Art of Living Consciously and The Psychology of Romantic Love.
He autographed the books, pictured below.
He was at first hesitant to sign the books due to the illegibility of his hand writing (a symptom of his deteriorating health). My response was approximately,
Whether or not anyone else knows you have signed the books is unimportant to me. What matters is that I will know you have signed them. The books will not ever be for sale.
He gave me a short tour of his home. Seeing his book collection was particularly wonderful, mesmerizing even. He had what appeared to be the sum of his and Ayn’s work – in editions I never even knew existed.
I actively wondered about the physical history of the books I was seeing. Each one had its own story for arriving on his shelf.
My fondest memory of the experience was when, mid conversation, he turned to his wife and commented with a smile “Can I adopt this one?”.
This was both amusing, and I think, the best compliment he could have given me.
In memory of Nathaniel, I have prepared the following links to videos of him and his ideas, that are extensive and in some cases hard to find.
- An Introduction to the Psychology of Romantic Love (my presentation on his book of the same title, given weeks before we met)
- Philosophical Foundations of a Free Society
- Nathaniel Branden interviewed by Brian Lamb
- Nathaniel Branden interviewed by Reason TV
- Nathaniel Branden – Overcoming Barriers to Romantic Love
- Nathaniel Branden – Self Esteem & Libertarianism
NathanielBranden.com also has many great lectures difficult if not impossible to find elsewhere.
Nathaniel’s work in The Psychology of Romantic Love was hugely influential in deciding to marry my wife. It continues to inspire and influence me throughout my life. He will be dearly missed.