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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.

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15,157209124 (3.91)256
  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)
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    Progress by Charles Stampul (PeerlessPress)
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    Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland (Alixtii)
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    Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: The real world results of libertarianism.
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    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Voracious_Reader)
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» See also 256 mentions

English (200)  Hebrew (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All (1)  All (207)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
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 |
There are writers. And then there’s Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand was a very unique individual; an individual that isn’t afraid to stand by her convictions, no matter what anyone said. That’s what made her so beloved and hated. Even more so, that’s why people were so bifurcated about her books.

Knowing that, then it isn’t shocking to realize that The Fountainhead was written with her very own ideals embedded within every page, within every character, within every thought. In that sense, she is rather unique because not only did she create an amazing story, as many authors have, but she went a step beyond and used the book with the essence of her philosophy, which was, and will always be, a truly daring endeavor for any writer.

The Fountainhead has been described in many ways, but at its core it is about The Individual vs. The Collective; about Freedom vs. Conformity.

With characters that are gripping, settings that are par excellence, and dialogue that displays incredible depth, the book is a well rounded synthesis about the nature of individualism and what it means to be human.

The leading characters all flow through their roles seamlessly, and whether you love them or hate them, you can feel the realism in them, even if at times they are the epitome of Rand’s ideal.

Anyone who values individuality will value this book. Those that seek to conform will undoubtedly hate it. That’s the nature of the beast, and always will be. What Rand did though, perhaps better than anyone else, is show both sides of the coin – Individualism vs. Conformity – in a manner that nobody else had brought about through fiction. This is why the book is so engaging, because you hate the villains as much as you love the characters you gravitate towards. It is rare when a book has you personally invested in nigh every character failing or succeeding, but this book accomplishes that in spades.

Ayn Ran went to war for the Individual against The Collective in a torrential manner in a way almost nobody does. Through her characters, Rand did a salient job of showing the wide range of latitudes within human nature. All of this was, of course, was to highlight the importance of Individualism.

As Rand herself elucidates in the following passages, the last of the three which is in her own words, the prior two through her characters:

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, their vision unborrowed, and the response they received – hatred. The great creators – the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors – stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great ne invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”[1]

“From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man – the function of his reasoning mind.”[2]

“And for the benefit of those who consider relevance to one’s own time as of crucial importance, I will add, in regard to our age, that never has there been a time when men have so desperately needed a projection of things as they ought to be.”[3]

Rand stated those words decades ago, and they apply even more so now. Given that humanity keeps snowballing down a hill in a world where morality, common sense and virtues keep getting swept under the rug, such statements and their ramifications should be pondered at length.

Whether you love the book or you hate it, it will give you much to ponder about, especially if you value Freedom and Individuality in any way shape or form.

__________________________________________________​
Sources:

[1] Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, p. 710.
[2] Ibid., p. 711.
[3] Ibid., p. vii. Written in the Author’s Introduction to the 1968 Edition. ( )
  ZyPhReX | May 30, 2017 |
I read this in high school, and even back then I knew it was crap. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
As a story, it's bland, very long, and way too light on the kinds of details and flourishes that leave an impression. Its protagonist faces no internal conflicts and needs no redemption arc because he begins, spends, and ends the novel as Ayn Rand's ideal man - "everything a man ought to be." (Fair warning - Rand's perfect man is both a rapist and a domestic terrorist.) As a philosophical doctrine, well, your mileage may vary, but it's still bland and still long and frankly a little nonsensical. Circular logic abounds - if the free market can ultimately factually determine what something is worth, why waste your time worrying about someone else's shitty architecture? If yours is truly superior, it will become regarded as such. Moreover, if every man ought to live for himself and himself alone, why's it wrong for less talented men to aim for success through flattery and compromise? The whole thing feels like a proto-"angry white man" diatribe. Authorial intent be damned, if Rand's politics and policies weren't abundantly clear, a reader could be forgiven for mistaking this cumbersome read for satire. Bad satire, but satire all the same. ( )
1 vote steve520 | Dec 10, 2016 |
My favorite book. Best book ever! ( )
  MeredithH | Oct 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 200 (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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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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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 12 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ayn Rand

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Penguin Australia

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HighBridge

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