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The Fountainhead Paperback – Jul 29 2008
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The Fountainhead has become an enduring piece of literature, more popular now than when published in 1943. On the surface, it is a story of one man, Howard Roark, and his struggles as an architect in the face of a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism. The confrontation of those themes, along with the amazing stroke of Rand's writing, combine to give this book its enduring influence.
Ayn Rand is a writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly. -- The New York Times Book Review, Lorine PruetteSee all Product description
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I will admit that there are things that you will probably not agree with in this whole philosophy.
First, like many "perfect" philosophies, it is ultimately a utopia, probably unrealisable in practice, for its ideas can only work if the whole of humanity agreed on them up-front.
Second, don't forget that these ideas were written in a certain era, by a person who has lived through very specific things. In her time, there wasn't the same weight as today on the argument that the Earth might someday not have enough resources to satisfy everyone's endless greed. So of course she thought a single person should have the right to accumulate as much riches as he wants, if he can.
But despite its few flaws in consequence, the ontology is superb, a model of ethics as prescribed not by "the others", but by oneself. One, even alone on a desert island, is subject to ethics, call it self-respect if you will. It is refreshing to find a sound system of thought that does not advocate that the only way to be a good person is to sacrifice yourself to others.
Whether you agree ot not, I think any reasonable person should either accept these ideas, or be prepared to word a sound defense against them. But that's just me. I'm that selfish.
I was told to pick up this particular book because I wanted to learn about rights. I wanted to know why one should have them, where they come from, what makes them valid, etc. This book answered it.
I think what makes the book great is that it is a collection of essays. It's not a daunting book on just a few topics. It's a way to get a taste of a variety of subjects such as individual rights, the role of proper government, racism, etc. It's a good read. You may not agree with all that Ayn Rand says, but she always gives clear reasons and premises for her arguments. You'll enjoy being challenged.
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