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The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
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The Fountainhead (1943)

by Ayn Rand

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,739215113 (3.9)259
Recently added byLASiewert, Kmorr10, Tobi2Screen, mahimm, ab72, Jenfers, private library, David_of_PA, Nfont
Legacy LibrariesGillian Rose, Sylvia Plath, Carl Sandburg
  1. 103
    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (bigtent21, thebookpile)
    bigtent21: "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" are becoming more relevant as we head into 2009. Large Government Buyouts and Regulation are the scourge of Atlas Shrugged and the outright sponsoring of mediocrity predominates The Fountainhead. Rand can be long-winded, but these two books are must reads regardless of your own personal beliefs.… (more)
  2. 31
    Essays on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead by Robert Mayhew (mcaution)
    mcaution: Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation on the classic novel from this collection of scholarly criticism.
  3. 32
    Anthem by Ayn Rand (Voracious_Reader)
  4. 11
    Progress by Charles Stampul (PeerlessPress)
  5. 02
    Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland (Alixtii)
  6. 02
    The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham (edwinbcn)
  7. 02
    Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox (SunnySD)
  8. 25
    Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: The real world results of libertarianism.
  9. 28
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Voracious_Reader)
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» See also 259 mentions

English (204)  Hebrew (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  All (212)
Showing 1-5 of 204 (next | show all)
Ayn Rand as a philosopher....unique and interesting, and fun to pick out the flaws. Ayn Rand as a novelist....terrible. I wanted to throw this book across the room. ( )
  abergsman | Mar 20, 2018 |
I would give this book seven stars if I could.

It expounds on a profound philosophy under the guise of fiction, making it easy to follow and understand the message that the author is trying to put across.

( )
  yamiyoghurt | Jan 29, 2018 |
One of those books that sort of happen in adolescent-college life. escapist in retrospect ( )
  michaeljoyce | Dec 4, 2017 |
I'm a political liberal, and always thought I should read Rand, if only to try to understand what has driven Paul Ryan and others to label her as their favorite author. The book is long and ponderous, but the plot does move along and I was eager to find out what would happen to the characters.

The book's hero is Howard Rourk, who at the start of the book is a brilliant architecture student at a fictional Massachusetts college being expelled because he refuses to do assignments in the classical styles of the day and insists on marching to the beat of his own drum only. His apparent opposite is Peter Keating, another student graduating at the same time at the top of his class, who has a knack for ingratiating himself socially and uses that ability to hide his mediocre abilities from the world. The book then follows the two as their careers and lives intersect in New York City over the next 15 years.

The book later focuses on three other important characters: Ellsworth Toohey, an architecture critic and supporter of Keating who becomes the book's villain; Gail Wynand, a self-made millionaire newspaper publisher and business titan; and Dominique Francon, the beautiful and brilliant daughter of the most prominent architect in New York and eventual lover of more than one of the above-mentioned male characters.

The book is characterized by many long speeches by major characters, laying out their principles, and many twists and turns as the fortunes of the major characters rise and fall.

Of course, ultimately the point of the book is that what the weak-minded call "selflessness", caring for others, is a blight on society, while the real heroes are those who create original concepts and demonstrate total independence. Roark is utterly incorruptible and unbending, willing to face complete professional ruin rather than compromise his principles and design anything that sullies his art by adding classical or decorative touches. Meanwhile, Keating has no center and no original thoughts, which serves him well for much of the story.

I was most confused by the Toohey character, who emerges eventually as a cackling villain, bent on destroying Roark for reasons that are a little fuzzy. He's a socialist, of course, but I didn't understand the connection between socialism and the need to stop Roark's brilliant style (which after all is well-suited to the communist buildings of the day, in the Soviet Union, which were also bereft of classical touches and are functional if nothing else). I guess the issue is that Roark is an anti-collectivist, refusing to work in collaboration with anyone.

Anyway, I guess the book is effective in laying out the principles of Objectivism, at least implicitly. I'm very put off by a philosophy that worships the Great Man and basically sees the rest of us as nothing more than foils to demonstrate his Greatness. I think cooperation is a lot healthier way to live a life and to order a society.

Maybe that makes me Peter Keating! ( )
  DanTarlin | Oct 19, 2017 |
Oh, My, God. I can believe I finished this book. It is impossibly long. But, the language used is sophisticated the vocabulary is rich and the intricacies of the sentence juggling are worth admiring. Like any Russian book, it is gloom and dismal. All book is worth listening only because of the happy ending and that speech in the court by Howard Roark that summarizes all of the moral intended for this lengthy novel. But, I guess I wouldn't be able to understand what the author meant by this final speech if I weren't prepared by the same author at the length of 36 hours of tautology. Anyway, the great book worth reading and great conclusion. ( )
  Anatoly1988 | Jun 7, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 204 (next | show all)
[Miss Rand] has written a hymn in praise of the individual and has said things worth saying in these days. Whether her antithesis between altruism and selfishness is logically correct or not, she has written a powerful indictment.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rand, Aynprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hurt, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peikoff, LeonardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Rheenen, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
"Whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential." _____Ayn Rand
Dedication
To Frank O'Connor
First words
Howard Roark laughed.
Quotations
To say "I love you" one must first be able to say the "I".
"If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away" —Victor Hugo.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is the story of Howard Roark, a man who stands up for his principles in a world where they are not valued. He pays the price for it, with his rivals like Peter Keating getting ahead. But he runs his own race, because the race everyone else runs is one filled with compromise and without integrity. He falls in love with a woman, whom he must first teach to live in a world like this. He stands tall, alone, and shows us the essence of individualism.
Haiku summary
The selfless man is/acting as his own builder/and as destroyer (missteacher)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451191153, Mass Market Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:44 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Here is the story of an intransigent young architect, Howard Roark, of his violent battle against a mindless status quo, and of his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who worships him yet struggles to defeat him. In order to build his kind of buildings according to his own standards, Roark must fight against every variant of human corruption.… (more)

» see all 11 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ayn Rand

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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