Understanding Ayn Rand as a person
While Ayn Rand claimed that she was rational, she was in fact a very emotional person. This is found in much of the analysis of her life. More important is understanding what was driving her psychologically. And that is this: Being an empath for her father.
Ayn Rand's father was a small businessman in Tsarist Russia. As is often the case for a child, she absorbed not only his attitudes but the reality of his situation. From this came her hatred of Communism as well as a militant resistance to what was then the female socialization; but from it also came her major beliefs - her belief in superiority of capitalism, her belief in the goodness of businessmen, her belief in the virtue of innovation and individuality, and other main aspects of her Objectivist philosophy.
Is it wrong that she was an empath for her father? Absolutely not; if anything it gives more insight into her as a person and provides more of an understanding of her that someone might otherwise lack. But I think I speak the verdict of history when I say that what she came up with was not rationality but rather highly psychologized material. And that gives a more complete understanding of Ayn Rand that makes possible a more compassionate as well as a less dogmatic reading of her works.