I didn't even notice until I was well under way. Fred's family name, like most were, was taken off the map. I don't specifically remember now, but I recollect that Rearden is a little town in either (our) western Washington or (our) Idaho, or maybe even (our) northern Utah. And of course I do salute Ayn Rand all over the book as well, begininning with the acknowledgements, of course, and appearing in both dialogue and narrative as "Alyx Blum", a nod both to "St" Ayn (and how she would bristle at such a mystical appellation, even more so than being accused of rank "libertarianism" I'll bet), as well as to the "golden age" comic book and pulp author Alex Blum (albeit subconciously -- again, I thought I had invented the name, just as George Harrison thought he had written My Sweet Lord).
Funny that you zeroed in on Hank Rearden, but skipped over Howard Roark. Or maybe you judged that Heywood was just too obviously deliberate to mention?
And that probably puts this discussion to bed. Again, thanks for your time, observations, and good wishes.
Work hard, rest easy, laugh often, and love endlessly.
Gene (aka Prof de la Paz, Lethargy Lad, General Cashier, Chef Laurent, and Mister Lawrence)
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West of 89
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