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For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand
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For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  2,183 ratings  ·  81 reviews
This is Ayn Rand's challenge to the prevalent philosophical doctrines of our time and the "atmosphere of guilt, of panic, of despair, of boredom, and of all-pervasive evasion" that they create. One of the most controversial figures on the intellectual scene, Ayn Rand was the proponent of a moral philosophy--and ethic of rational self-interest--that stands in sharp oppositi ...more
Paperback, 50th Anniversary Edition, 224 pages
Published December 1st 1963 by Signet (first published January 1st 1961)
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Community Reviews

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sologdin
Part III of multi-part review series.

A greatest hits: introductory essay and selections from the four novels. Will reserve commentary on the novels for those reviews.

Introductory essay develops two sets of binaries: Attila/Witch Doctor and Producer/Parasite. The latter is crass unexamined producerism--so it’s standard proto-fascistic aggressiveness.

Preface proclaims that the volume “presents the outline of a new philosophical system” and a “new theory of the nature, source, and validation of co
...more
Christopher
"I swear - by my life and my love of it - that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." There is a quality in Ayn Rand's writing that I find supremely attractive: the unflinching, unapologetic assertion of the sanctity of the individual human mind and that any system of thought, government, or economy which seeks to destroy the individual man's reliance on his own rationality is evil. Ayn Rand is not the first writer to speak of these things; Emerson, ...more
Samson Blackwell
A great explication of Ayn's philosophy, and the primary reason I think she's an idiot.
Christopher
This book by novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, (author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead") consists of one brilliant essay analyzing the backward and mystical state of the humanities throughout all of man’s history, and the most philosophical selections of Rand’s fiction.

This book is wonderful for studying some of the grand speeches Rand’s characters make without having to mark up your fiction copies, and for the sheer convenience of having all these noteworthy expositions in one book.
...more
Art
"Capitalism demands the best of every man - his rationality - and rewards him accordingly." Ayn Rand is badass. She says some scary things (writing off entire countries as "savages", advocating "conquering nature") and she has a tendency to run tangents to dark, misguided places, but if you moderate her ideas with a healthy amount of common sense, they just might do your life some good. People will tell you Rand's a bad writer but they're wrong. The title essay of this collection gives voice to ...more
Sara Murphy
Boy, where do I start? First, I chanced upon Ayn Rand thanks to Netflix and the documentary I watched that focused on Atlas Shrugged. Intrigued, I went to my local used book store and all I could find was "For the New Intellectual" which, I now know was possibly the best book I could have encountered in the first place, as far as Rand's works are concerned. It does a good job of featuring excerpts from some of her other works and giving the general layout of her philosophy.
Now, I found myself f
...more
Христо Блажев
Айн Ранд дефинира новия интелектуалец
http://www.knigolandia.info/2010/06/b...

Произведенията на Айн Ранд определено ме въведоха в едно различно измерение на светоусещане и отношение към живота. Най-силно влияние ми оказаха, разбира се, романите й “Атлас изправи рамене” “Изворът” и “Ние, живите”, както и есетата от сборника “Капитализмът: непознатия идеал”.

“За новия интелектуалец” е синтез на тезите й от горните произведения. Основната посока е дефинирането на досегашната човешка история като сл
...more
Tori
Made up almost entirely of excerpts from her novels. Who is this "New Intellectual"? Only Ayn Rand and those who are willing to adhere to her philosophy. As far as her philosophy - she actually has me agreeing with her most of the time, but to a point. In order for her views to be plausible to the point of implementation, every child in America must be born with equal opportunity and privilege. I submit to you that this is hardly the case. I confess to socialistic tendencies, but I think if Rand ...more
James
Kind of a funhouse mirror of the intellectual giants who came up with the social contract notion of philosophy. It's a bit like a petulant child, crying out that nobody understands anything but her. Reason is good, sure, and I'll even accept that the Attila and Witch Doctor dynamic is an interesting thread to run through the eponymous essay. I just think it's pretty horrendous to call out, in my mind, some of history's most interesting people -- like Hume, Marx, and JS Mill -- although, this bei ...more
Matt Tomaso
Rand should have stuck to less disguised versions of fiction.
Matt Sautman
I was somewhat surprised to see that this volume is more like anthology of Rand's fiction and not a collection of essays on Objectivism. Despite this lack of original content (with the exception of the opening essay), I am pleased with the volume as it is composed of Rand's better moments with the lackluster ones minimized. Objectivism is a flawed philosophy, but those philosophies are not as apparent here. Some of the flaws I've come across in the sampled volume were even omitted here, which ca ...more
Mark Geise
This is a ~50 page title essay with several excerpts taken from We the Living, Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged. The vast majority of the book consists of the title essay and John Galt's objectivism speech in Atlas Shrugged. I agree with Rand's philosophy, but I was hoping for more novel material in this book. The title essay is very good, so that was worth the $1 I paid for this at a thrift store. The title essay discusses the two categories of enemies to producers and men of thought: Attilas a ...more
John
I think the most egregious part of this book is how she butchers Kant's ideas. In the tradition of a typical "straw man argument," she offers a simplistic version of his ideas, and then knocks it down.

I am not a Kant follower, but if you are going to attack his philosophy, at least try to get it right.

The two stars are for spelling and grammar.
Alex Acton
It's hard to say what I thought of this book. Not because I think it was poorly written, but because I think Mrs. Rand starts with a false premise and follows it farther and farther from reality. This book is Mrs. Rand's clarion call for the development of a new breed of intellectual. At the time of her writing, the world was embroiled in a struggle between capitalism and communism. The more extreme intellectuals on the left were pointing out the weakness of capitalism and pointing to the theore ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
That was the lousiest book I have ever read on philosophy and trying to educate a beginner, a new intellectual on philosophy. I would choose Durant instead or Sophie's World by Gaarder which is actually a work of art.
Matt Beckstead
Excellent book if you're interested in getting a better understanding of Rand's Objectivist philosophy. However, note that this book is most comprised of excerpts from previous books such as Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead -- including John Gult's 2-hour long address to the public about the intellectuals being on strike.

There are two benefits to this book over just reading the novels on their own: 1) Rand adds some commentary around the excerpts, and 2) the curated group of excerpts really
...more
Chris Brimmer
She thinks she's an uperman-and does a poor job of proving it
Wiam Hannashi
an intriguing read .. not bad for a compendium.
this book is a collection of excerpts from Ayn Rand's novels ('we the living','anthem','atlas shrugged' and 'the fountainhead') it's basically a condensed summary that explains perfectly Rand's philosophy of objectivism. in addition to the title essay .. it highlights the importance of rational thinking
having read 'the fountainhead' and intending to read the book 'atlas shrugged' soon. i think everyone should go through rand's novels before reading
...more
hyperboreas_
A disappointing work, despite its ambitious title and underlying promise of potential. Written in what feel like the "mania years", there is a clear sense of bitterness in the short opening essay that takes away half the enjoyment in reading it, since the forceful (and sometimes repetitive) manner in which the ideals are presented make it be more of a manifesto and less of a refreshing new read. To this is added the laughable fact that the opening essay is merely that, and amounts to no more tha ...more
Brent McCulley
Rand's For the New Intellectual consists of various philosophical examinations of her novels, as well as a philosophical historiography hitherto. Her analysis of history in light of her Attila the Hun / Witch Doctor dichotomy, albeit broad-brushing, certainly got my historical gears turning given the implications of Rand's own Objectivism.

Her summary of Attila as the existentialists, the brutes, dictators, and demagogues is contrasted with the With Doctor--the moralists, priests, and shamans. Us
...more
JP
The first 25 pages of this completely enthralled me. Rand's no-nonsense style deftly conveys a philosophy that seems both wise and clever. Her summarization of modern history places the center of an hourglass around the founding of America by the first "thinkers who were men of action." Current intellectuals have failed to keep pace with the advancements made by the producers in our modern world of the past 250 years. Humans are distinct from other animals because of our ability to conceptualize ...more
Don Weidinger
emperor naked America culturally bankrupt, vacuum of intellectual conversation, too many dogged dogmas, witch doctors of morality all same head shrinkers, don’t look judge be-certain, sliding down road that has destroyed other countries, kill excellence reverence happiness, reason as means to gain knowledge, truth as recognition of reality, rational process is moral process, reason purpose self-esteem, soul and body with free will, controller dreads reason commands not convinces, no attainments ...more
Jenna
For the New Intellectual was Ayn Rand's chronological summary from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, through Industrial Revolution where men finally discovers science. Of how mankind has achieved an enormous material progress, and mysticism was disrupted by change.

Furthermore, some excerpts, and short summaries from We The Living, Anthem, Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged.
Here's an answer for the question "For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand..

Who are to be the New Intellectual? A
...more
Asaucier
First and foremost, I tried to read Atlas Shrugged. I got it after 150 pages. By page 450, the only thing I could think was, "Why should I keep reading this?" I set the tomb aside and decided that my education in Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, would be better served through her non-fiction.

Now I know Objectivism's theories, applications, practices, consequences, weaknesses like the back of my hand and frequently apply these values to my political-economic decision-making. And this was all befo
...more
Dan
I am only basing my rating on the essay that opens the book. Since more than half is comprised of excerpts from her other books, I decided to hold off so I could appreciate them in their native context (and I've already read 'Atlas Shrugged').

As someone who once was a bleeding-heart liberal (aren't we all during college?), reading Rand has certainly challenged some ideals I've held. After reading 'Atlas Shrugged' a few years ago, I came out with much to think about, but my one complaint was "it
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I rather sympathize (if not really agree with) a LibraryThing reviewer who gave this a half star and complained this was a cut and paste job. That is true of three-quarters of this book, which consists of excerpts from Rand's novels. Thus my relatively low rating. Her novels certainly should be read before For the New Intellectual--and if you're not taken by her novels, I do find it hard to believe you're going to like this book. There is an introductory essay though, "For the New Intellectual" ...more
Anand
This book contains excerpts from her previous books "Atlas shrugged", 'fountainhead".. This book emphasizes the point tht once attila-ism, and witch doctor were dominating people's mind without giving room to think and reason. Mystics were greatly involved in sayin tht thinking or using brain is against nature or god which we are not supposed to do and on tht pretext they were dominating or doing enslavement, expropriation. Atlast few pages ended up saying tht 'thinking is our choice. The best w ...more
Andrej Drapal
Obviously first step towards objectivism as concise philosophy, this book is more imprompu than serious book. Albeit precise as Ayn is all the time. I liked most last part where major programatic speeches of Ayns novels caharacters appear. Most notably whole John Gallt radion appearamce from Atlas Shrugged. I lostened to audiobook, so it was good to listen again!
Greg
Reading this shorter book will provide you with many of the more important excerpts of he Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged -- saving you from having to read both without at least having some understanding of what you're getting yourself into.

After reading the first 50 pages, you have an idea of what you're in for. So if you're one of those types who thinks anyone who is successful should feel guilty about it and turn their fortunes over to the undeserving or believe faith is a better method of ar
...more
James
This is the best single source for the philosophy of Ayn Rand as espoused in her fiction. While she would go on to write some additional philosophic essays that rivaled these -- this is the compendium that forms the base of her philosophy of Objectivism. In addition to the title essay the collection includes excerpts from four of her novels (Anthem, We the Living, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged). The selections from Atlas Shrugged alone are key statements of the Objectivist philosophy and ...more
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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
More about Ayn Rand...
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“So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another—their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.” 6 likes
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