One in this series of late-night topical interview programs hosted by Tom Snyder. On this show, Snyder interviews Russian-born writer-philosopher Ayn Rand in the first segment and Dr. Marshall H. Kaplan, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Penn State University in the second segment. Rand discusses the following topics, among others: a general overview of objectivism, the philosophy she has championed throughout her life; how objectivism differs from religious dogma; the importance of Man's reason as his basic means of survival; the immorality of acting upon whims and emotions; the virtue of rationality; Rand's childhood recollections of being a top student who was nonetheless bored and unchallenged by her school's curriculum; writing screenplays and novels during class as a child; her belief that writing a novel is more difficult than erecting a building because of the enormous context and structure that must be created; her claim that she has been an objectivist since the age of two-and-a-half and that she has not changed her convictions since that time; religion as a primitive "canned" philosophy that offers people a necessary context in which to lead their lives; her lack of fear of death; her feeling that the United States is being destroyed by universities preaching collectivism, mysticism, and altruism rather than American ideals of individualism and capitalism; her criticism of President Jimmy Carter for telling Americans to scale-back their standard of living as a means of coping with the oil crisis and recession, which she says runs counter to promoting proper self-esteem; German philosopher Immanuel Kant as the ruling philosopher and principal villain of our time; that the dominance of Kantian philosophical rule has resulted in a current youth population that does drugs and lacks goals, values, and selfishness; her belief that selfishness is a virtue; one's responsibilty to oneself and one's own happiness; the current time as an "age of envy" in which people attack others for their success; her response to those who denounce her; her belief the United States will not be saved by the intellectuals, but by average citizens who realize the country must turn to the right; her claim that she is not a conservative; and her passionate love of the United States. Snyder's second guest, Dr. Marshall H. Kaplan discusses the following topics, among others, in light of the imminent fall of Skylab (a space station orbiting the Earth) out of its orbit and down to Earth: why Skylab won't disintegrate on reentry to the Earth's atmosphere; whether people should be concerned about casualties; possibilities for grossly controlling reentry time if there appears to be any danger of pieces of Skylab falling in a populated region; the fact that all control of the space station will end twelve hours before reentry, which is projected to be July 12, 1979; the significance of the title of his new book "Space Shutle: America's Wings to the Future"; and projections of further advancements of space program technology. Commercials deleted.


  • DATE: July 3, 1979 Tuesday 1:15 AM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:46:18
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:35674
  • GENRE: Talk/Interviews
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Aerospace engineers
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1973-1982


  • Tom Snyder … Host, Interviewer
  • Ayn Rand … Guest
  • Marshall H. Kaplan … Guest