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Comparative Report of 《Ayn Rand Biography》and 《Ayn Rand and the World She Made》


I am a college teacher and corrects student papers every semester. There are always students lazy,who copied others' papers, I have to learn to recognize them. After a few years, I am gradually trained a pair of eagle eyes, which can find out the plagiarized part. Some sentences are clearly patchwork; some arguments make a logical jump that makes me suspect that the author stole someone else's thoughts.

Liu Zhongjing'sdoesn't have these problems, the book has a consistent style of writing and theory. However, the author does not provide the specific source of historical materials, and it is difficult for readers to judge its authenticity. For example, how does the author check a plot of the? How credible are the words of those people involved? Judging on a diary or a memoir? Conclusion based on solitary evidence or multiple evidence? These questions are difficult to answer without explaining the source of the material. We also do not know which parts belong to Liu Zhongjing's original works, and which parts are the second-hand materials he cites.

According to my comparison and judgment, themainly refers to Anne Heller(hereinafter), and Liu Zhongjing abbreviated and rewrittenby his own words. To illustrate this, I apply the survey principles of the social science to design a method of sampling detection.

The body ofis 260 pages, starting on page 5, I sampled every 25 pages,for 10 times. Read up to three pages per sampling, and when I find sentences similar to, jump to the page of the next sampling. If a page of the sampling is a comment, turn to the previous or later body. Here are the results of my sampling inspection. Since I only have the electronic version of, I can not correspond to the page number of the printed version, and can only provide similar parts of the original English text and my translation.


Example 1. page 5-6: " Rand even said that she hates everything in Russia This is certainly not true. She has never completely got rid of the Russian spirit, as she has never lost her love of Russian classical music"

: " Later, she would say that she loathed everything Russian,. and while this was not entirely true —she retained her appetite for Russian classical music and Russian sweets until the end of her life …….

The two words coincide "She has never completely got rid of Russian spirit" should be Liu's own comment.


Example 2. page28-29: " Honourable Nabokov and Miss Olga are glad to demonstrate to Rand the superiority of the constitutional monarchy, which is just a warm-up for them... Olga later said that Rand's debate style was intense and a bit provocative. But she doesn't mind because passionate arguments bring fun on both sides" "It is self-evident that Rand embraced republicanism. Theoretically this regime is more self-consistent and more consistent. The constitutional monarchy adapts and prevents the weakness of human feelings and cognition; but this can not be proved by theory, only by experience"

: "Olga, echoing her father's conviction that Russia wasn't ready for a pure democracy,. argued with Rand in favor of a constitutional monarchy,. like that of England; Rand wanted a republic,. she remembered,. in which the head of state would be chosen for merit and there wouldn't be a king.…….With Olga,. Rand's tendency to argue "violently" and "at the slightest provocation," which she knew to be socially "not right," seemed to make no difference. If anything,. her passionate opinions enhanced Olga's and her pleasure in each other. "


When Liu mentioned Rand's support for republic, he only said "theoretically more self-consistent", and Heller provided specific reasons that "heads of state arise according to their qualifications." I think this is because Liu Zhongjing emphasizes the rationalism of  Rand, but the republic can also be empirically.


Example 3. page 56: "Rand's university courses are: Ancient History, Medieval History, Western History, Russian History, Logic, Philosophy of the mind, a forerunner of psychology, French, Biology, and required courses historical materialism and the history of socialism."

: "She took ancient, medieval, Western, and Russian history, logic, philosophy of the mind, a forerunner of psychology, French, biology, and historical materialism and the history of socialism, which were required courses." 

The two lists of courses are exactly the same, including the modifier "predecessor of psychology". Heller notes the original source of the curriculum: Chris Sciabarra's, pages 10-19, published in, one volume in fall 1999.


Example 4. page 81: " The train took the future prophet to the door of the relatives in Chicago. The hospitable cousins greeted her at La Salle Street station.. The Stones, in the clothing business in Chicago, were accustomed to directing the "greenhorns"; but Rand was confident, and apparently did not need their guidance."

: " When the train pulled into the LaSalle Street Station in Chicago, her mother's hospitable and hardworking cousins were on hand to welcome her. Practiced as they were at sponsoring sometimes disorientated Russian-Jewish "greenhorns," as the family called new immigrants,. the Portnoy women buzzed with ideas about what their cousin's daughter might like to see and do. But they had never sponsored anyone quite as independent as Ayn Rand. She had her own agenda."


Example 5. page 106: " At the same time, Rand has found a group of like-minded allies in the intellectual community, which included a poet, former journalist, and copyright agent Melville Cane, and Cane's partner, Pincus Berner. The friendship between the four of them proved to withstand the test of time."

: "……she was meeting a few prominent political conservatives: Melville Cane,. a distinguished poet,. former journalist,. friend of Sinclair Lewis,. and copyright attorney who became her guide in literary legal matters,. and Cane's partner Pincus Berner and his wife,. who would become important friends and allies in years to come. "


Heller called Cane a "copyright attorney" and Liu Zhongjing, a "copyright agent". Since Liu does not provide the original source, we cannot tell whether this was his translation mistake, or the source is different from "the World".


Example 6. page 130: " She and the Firm Right formed the Associated Ex-Willkie Workers Against Willkie. They wrote letters to the press, ridiculing the original selected leader and blaming him for helping the Communist Party... At the end of 1940, she was less than $900 left."

: " She and others formed the Associated Ex—Willkie Workers Against Willkie and wrote broadsides and letters to the editor ridiculing the luckless utilities executive and accusing him of aiding the U.S. Communist Party agenda.……They were down to less than nine hundred dollars of her savings. "


In addition, I also found that Liu Zhongjing'sand Guo Tingyi'shave many overlaps. Here's an example, There are the provisions of January 21,1916 of: " The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan warned envoy Lu Zongyu: Japan does not recognize the monarchy. If the Northern court refuses to remonstrate, the Japanese side will recognize the Kuomintang protection as a belligerring group, declaring that the Northern court is hindering East Asian peace and sending troops to the major areas of mainland China." While according to, "Ishii informed Lu Zongyu that the Japanese government did not recognize the Chinese imperial system, which should be delayed, if not, that is, free action to send troops to China, recognize Yunnan as a belligerent country, and declared that the Chinese government hindered peace in East Asia." Interested readers can compare them with more entries.


Ten sampling inspections have found overlapping words, it at least shows that Liu Zhongjing has a major suspicion of rewriting. If it's a proven fact., I hope Mr. Liu Zhongjing can take responsibility bravely to admit it, I believe the fans would understand him.


The last sentence is being said, if you want to abbreviate a book, what should you do? I suggest that you first get the right to adapt the original book and add your opinion in the form of commentary in the abbreviated book. This not only respects both the creation and copyright of others, but also reflects your perspective. I think this is the way legitimate and decent for an author. Do Mr. Liu Zhongjing and his fans think so?


Tian Fangmeng


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