Atlas Shrugged & The Fountainhead
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Atlas Shrugged & The Fountainhead

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  3,044 ratings  ·  180 reviews
The bestselling novels from the foremost philosopher of the modern age, this set includes Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
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Published September 1st 1997 by New American Library (first published 1995)
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Joe
The Fountainhead is one of the worst books I have ever read in my entire life. If Ayn Rand books were food, I wouldn't feed them to a starving dog. I'd say, dog, just lick your own balls. You'll be happier. Speaking of dog balls, man I'd rather sniff one than have to read this book again. What a piece of crap.

The meandering prose. The inability to grasp basic tenets of what it is to be human. And believe me, I've done my homework since reading the Fountainhead. Ayn Rand was a horrible human bein...more
Christopher
In my book, Ayn Rand still stands as one of the most powerful fictional writers capable of imbuing her work with philosophical ideals, and The Fountainhead is no let down. Yes, her characters can be a little one-sided, with unbending ideals they seem capable of upholding in the midst of the greatest strife. However, just being able to imagine and describe these kinds of intellectual pariahs and support their personas with such thorough background is a significant accomplishment.

The only point at...more
Nicole
Apr 12, 2008 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Nicole by: minter, but i had already found it in a used book shop!
This is an amazing, amazing book of thought. Through the novel Rand illustrates her philosophy of Objectivism. As an artist--and one who studied with architects--finding myself feeling like the black sheep in the lot most of the time, I was astonished. The Fountainhead articulated a lot of social and individual behavior that I have understood and also been frustrated by. The idea of the creative soul being genuine and self-directed as spiritual self-respect, driving against a crowd, against a so...more
Rod
Ayn (pronounced eye+n) Rand presents a lot of well thought out ideas regarding the weaknesses of society. Her ideology, although well-meaning, is thoroughly flawed. Her world exists in a vacuum where nothing happens that is outside of the control of man, and where a man creates his own soul. Despite that, I really like this book.
Johnny
Just don't get too brainwashed, ok?
Thomas.harrop
I was very taken with Ayn Rand when I originally read her books. I still find her logic compelling, however, she never really understood that compassion can be part of enlightened self interest. Her characters are intentionally very hard edged and idealistic, I get that. The problem is, like all conservatives, she has no room in her view of life for people who are unable to care for themselves. I recently discussed this with a friend who believed that people should just all be responsible for th...more
Phil
Nov 26, 2012 Phil rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys intellectual stimulation
Picking up a battered old copy of Ayn Rand‘s "The Fountainhead" when I was twenty-nine was a life-changing experience that snapped me out of my routine-induced stagnation and reignited my thinking processes. Ayn Rand and I differ on many positions (big time!) but this tale of architect Howard Roark, the living embodiment of integrity, is a thrilling portrayal of what a human being is capable of becoming and creating. After reading this book, I put off reading Rand’s follow-up magnum opus, "Atlas...more
Dawn
second (or third?) time around it's even more tedious. constant moralizing wears on me. i love the relentless faith in the individual, but the characters are so flat in order to hammer her political agenda, that the plot ceases to be entertaining and leaves me wishing i'd just read a paragraph summary of objectivism and spent the other 1800 hours reading something less redundant and more entertaining
Shraddha Gupta
I hate how cold the books are. Ouch. I don't think Ayn Rand ever hugged anybody. Its the best screening test I've ever come across. If you love Ayn Rand, its unlikely we'll ever be friends. I know, saves us so much trouble.
Julie
I haven't finished reading this book yet (Atlas Shrugged) but can not say enough about it. Absolutely love it!! Everything I ever wanted to put into words is right there in the book. It's interesting especially to know that Ayn Rand has immigrated from Russia escaping communism. She did not even have to live in that socialist regime, unlike me, to know what it would be like. Some descriptions in the book, such as what happend when one factory went all socialist, is an embodiment of what the form...more
Dallin Bruun
Nov 05, 2008 Dallin Bruun rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in capitalism
Finally. What, 2000 pages? 2 full years? These books deserve 4 stars because they shift your thinking. I look at factories now and I don't say "Ugly" but "That is the physical manifestation of man's brainpower."

They also shed light on the vicious "Robin Hood" myth: it is immoral to be wealthy, and perfectly moral to be poor and envious of the rich.

Further, it defines well what it is 'to be.' Ayn Rand defines "to be" (as a MAN) is to use your brain, to achieve, to aspire, to accomplish greatness....more
Sunanda
Only read The Fountainhead and it was horrible. Two stars is generous. I couldnt even make it through Atlas Shrugged. I love her book We the Living which I believe was her first novel and the nearest thing to an autobiography from her and I cannot believe the same author put out these two books. I don't really understand the hype over either one they are overdone and too long with no real point. The characters are not real to me just idols of the ideas in her own head. Both books are about a 'ph...more
Bekah
Jan 16, 2009 Bekah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
These books challenged many of my beliefs. They are a good read, even if you don't agree with all of her ideas. However, I don't understand why so many high schools have their students read them--the philosophies expressed are too big for people with so little life experience. If you read them then, pick up the books and try again. You'll understand this time.
Justin
The recent financial crisis and government action-heavy response have resulted in a resurgence of interest in Ayn Rand. Given its focus on the economy, Atlas Shrugged has understandably received most of the attention. However, Rand’s novel on art, The Fountainhead, remains relevant today as well.

The Fountainhead follows two architects, Howard Roark and Peter Keating, over the course of their early careers (the novel spans approximately two decades). Dominique Francon serves as the love interest...more
Billy_ray
If Ayn Rand were a good writer, this book is the point in her career at which she should have stopped while she was ahead. One of the greatest literary villains of all time, Ellsworth Monkton Toohey, is surrounded by typical Randian caricatures spouting stiff Randian self-idolatry.

An alternate universe in which the arts stalled creatively when Europe rediscovered Ancient Greece and Rome is projected forward to 20th Century New York. A hero arises to challenge the creative establishment. Lather...more
Joan
I support the arts, but I don't think that people should suffer because of some artistic ideal. We are on this earth to be kind to each other, not to subjugate people. I think this book is a rationalization for abusing people so that a beautiful city can be enjoyed (mostly by wealthy people). Sure, a blue-collar worker might say, that's a great-looking building I just helped create, but if he can't pay for his kid's doctor bills, that's not right.
There were certain parts of the book where I was...more
Nelson
i remembered having heard of "atlas shrugged" years before reading it. finally, my mother actually reco'd it to me and i bought it and loved it. it's not a short book but it's worth anyone's time.
the other book in this compilation of both Rand's novels is "the fountainhead" and it's just as good, if not better. perhaps my favorite book of all time. i own a early second edition that still contains the same errors as the first edition.
Anna Chudnovsky
I`ve just finished the reading. That two books is important for exectly the moment of my life expericnce. First, I realized I am not alone with my instinctive and philosophy credo. Second, Ayn Rand gives me the most clear understanding about surrounding I`ve ever had.

The most depressive information from the books is the most important to take it in mind in my future mapping. Things I counted as a rare personal circumstances now seems as a system characteristics. Reading the books I was wonderin...more
korey
Nov 24, 2007 korey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves to read.
Ayn Rand is by far one of my all time favorites. Although this book isn't my favorite of hers, this is a must read. It's all about a man who wants to stop the world, literally. Technology is great, but he's sick of the corruption. This book like most of Rand's is not for the faint hearted, it's 1168 pages, but well worth the time spent.
Paul
Like it or not, approve or not, agree or not, she understands why we are where we are. This from a Russian refugee who chose to name herself after her typewriter.
Tobinsfavorite
I have to do this. I keep reading how these books are so popular now because our president is a socialist.

I read both of these in high school, separately. I enjoyed them as novels. They work great at showing how Ms. Rand's ideas will result in an improved society. They can do this because she has written about society as she wants it to work. That's what fiction does. One needs to note the differences between a fictional setting and the reality it purports to describe (if any) before extrapolati...more
Viswanathan Venkataraman
Though Have read all her books Fountainhead and to a lesser extent Atlas Shrugged remained favourite with me for a period in 60/70’s.
60’s and early 70’s was when Karl Marx, Jean-Paul Satre, Albert Camus, Nietzsche, Kafka, Dostoyevsky, M.K. Gandhi, MAD Magazine were my mind benders. To include Ayn Rand in this company might look out of place. Amused she is the icon now a days for Republicans and right wingers. They hated her then because she was an ardent atheist and promoted individualism and en...more
Tanveer Khan
Now this is not just a novel, it's philosophy n you need to think n understand the characters, behavior, situations. It is a wonderful book n I can say you come across many such characters quite often but not some one like Howard Roarke, people might call him crazy, arrogant etc but my dear that's what the world does to ones who think differently. You can either love this book or hate it.
Joanna
So... much... propaganda. 1) In the words of an anonymous wise reviewer: "Eventually, the question you ask stops being 'Who is John Galt?' and becomes 'When will John Galt shut up?" No one wants to read over 60 pages of a radio speech, especially about politics. 2) Rape and theft are not OK, not even for capitalists. 3) If all of the protagonists are beautiful and the antagonists are slimy, suspicious characters (or just plain dumb), there is a problem. As one can see, I GREATLY disliked these b...more
Abhijit Joshi
I was highly influenced by this when I read it first (young age). Over the years I realized how this philosophy misses the human element and therefore useless for human life. Also its not much different than most religions in its extremity. Still a great read and would recommend it.
Deanna Shelor
I learned not to make your AP class read something they really detested. WHile I loved the book I come form a different sensibility than my 21st century students and they had a really hard time juggling this book while attempting three or more other AP classes. This book is definitely for someone interested in philosopical issues and humanitarian issues as well as political agendas. A background in history would be necessary to 21st century AP students being able to assimilate the information be...more
Hera
I read this book in high school, and at the time became immediately drawn into the story. At the time I was unable to completely digest Rand's 'selfish/individualism/pro-capitalism' philosophy, but in hindsight, I still think the story itself has its merits. There are interesting plot twists, and even though the characters are pretty 1-D, they serve to better portray Rand's philosophy. I don't agree with her philosophy but I give credit to this book for waking me up, and challenging me to questi...more
Jane't Hamerter
I have read both books. It was such a good book. It had me thinking about my goals in life, the reasons that I take the stand that I do, whether or not I have passion (romantically and for life). I used to read The Fountainhead at least once a year so I could re-evaluate my life choices. Atlas Shrugged made me think about society in general and how messed up we are. On a petty note, I really didn't like who the main female character ended up with. Rand has good ideas and themes that are worth re...more
Jeanius
If I had realised that this book was 1168 pages long, I might have thought twice about tackling it. It is huge! The Fountainhead was a wonderful read so I expect the same of this, but it is definitely one to be tackled in short bursts with no expectations of finishing it in a hurry. Watch this space.............

It isn't often that I abandon a book, but was the case with Atlas Shrugged. I struggled and then decided that this book was never going to captivate me anywhere near as much as The Fount...more
Sampurna
i liked fountainhead..not because i believe in rand's philosophy but for the sheer fact she could carve the characters in the way she did..i was pleasantly surprised that someone can think of such a character like roark..its little difficult to accept all what she writes..i have my reservations about many ideas she presents but i admire the book as an art of fiction..i admire her imagination..she did a good job with what she thought..there are very few people who can actually candidly write what...more
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Isn't John Galt the same as Howard Roark in their thinking? 1 9 Mar 19, 2012 12:37AM  
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Alisa Rosenbaum was born in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg to a prosperous Jewish family. When the Bolsheviks requisitioned the pharmacy owned by her father, Fronz, the Rosenbaums fled to the Crimea. Alisa returned to the city (renamed Leningrad) to attend the university, but in 1926 relatives who had already settled in America offered her the chance of joining them there. With money from the sa...more
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Atlas Shrugged The Fountainhead Anthem We the Living The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism

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“I see man as a hero. With his own happiness as his moral obligation; productive achievementbas his noblest activity and reason as the only absolute.” 4 likes
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