In 1969, Ayn Rand gave a series of informal lectures on the art of nonfiction writing to a select group of friends and associates, often discussing her own
writings as way of example and illustration.
As editor and Objectivist scholar Robert Mayhew notes in his preface: “She did not deliver prepared lectures. Instead, she spoke on a topic (some evenings
for over three hours) guided solely by a brief outline. These ‘lectures’ were interspersed with: general discussion; requests for clarification, with her
replies; discussion of homework assignments; and question-and-answer periods.
The course was privately recorded. My task was to convert the recording into a book.”
In completing his task, Mayhew explains that he cut extraneous material, reorganized what remained and edited it for clarity, the last of which “involved
transforming Ayn Rand’s oral presentation into written form, i.e., condensing what she said, eliminating repetitions, and, where necessary, correcting