Since I seem to be back into posting on the list, I'll comment on this thread too...
One Rand's changing her name, I have read nothing to suggest that she was ashamed of her Jewish heritage. I think it far more plausible that, in moving from Russia to America, she wanted to adopt a new name to reflect her new life and to have a name that would be effective in her chosen career as a writer.
I can appreciate this, since this is largely why I changed my surname. It's not that I was *ashamed* of my partially Irish heritage (though, until the last few years, no one would think of Ireland first when you think "high tech", "innovative", etc.!). It was a matter of choosing a name to reflect my values and it was an act of shaping my own identity. Whatever you think of her work, don't you think "Ayn Rand" is a much sharper name for a writer than "Alice Rosenbaum"?