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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
14,640199137 (3.91)251
  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. 27
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Voracious_Reader)
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» See also 251 mentions

English (191)  Hebrew (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (197)
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
The book is tedious to read. Also regarding the characters, I had to suspend disbelief to get through it. The real word "resembles" that shown in the book, but not to the hard-edged extremes as presented by the author. The issue is not with Rand's brand of conservatism/Libertarianism, but with her writing. It seems that she takes too many words to express her ideas. She really needed a good editor. ( )
  Marc_Mccune | Apr 11, 2016 |
grand livre, opposant ceux qui font: createurs...et ceux qui critiquent, personnages tres monolytiques,caricaturaux a mon gout,mais belle histoire,forte, didactique.
Very strong characters, well written book, impressive story, A Rand was a great writer, no doubt about it! ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
I actually was really influenced by Rand at the time of reading the book. Today I would say the society she envisioned is so hideous - so selfish and cruel, so inhuman -that human beings could never allow such a thing to happen - any human beings (though some surely would like to). ( )
  AZG1001 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Howard Roark, a brilliant young architect, is expelled from the Stanton Institute of Technology[1] for refusing to abide by its outdated traditions. He goes to New York City to work for Henry Cameron, a disgraced architect whom Roark admires - being formally Cameron's employee but in fact his disciple and in effect his adopted son. Roark’s highly successful but vacuous schoolmate, Peter Keating, also moves to New York to work for the prestigious architectural firm, Francon & Heyer. Roark and Cameron create inspired work, but their projects rarely receive recognition, whereas Keating’s ability to flatter and please brings him almost instant success despite his lack of originality.

Roark closes his office rather than compromise his drawings, and his ideals, to the whims of his clients. He takes a job at a Connecticut granite quarry owned by Guy Francon, whose beautiful, temperamental, and idealistic daughter, Dominique, beguiles Peter Keating.

While Roark is working in the quarry, he encounters Dominique, who has taken an extended holiday in the same town as the quarry. There is an immediate attraction between them, which results in peculiar flirtation and ultimate culmination in what Dominique subsequently describes as rape.

Ellsworth Toohey, a columnist for The New York Banner (a yellow press-style newspaper owned by Gail Wynand) and author of the popular column One Small Voice, is an outspoken socialist, who is covertly rising to power by shaping public opinion through his column and his circle of influential associates, and whose quite openly proclaimed designs are not understood or taken seriously. Toohey sets out to destroy Roark through a smear campaign he spearheads at the Banner. As the first step, Toohey convinces a weak-minded businessman named Hopton Stoddard to hire Roark as the designer for a temple dedicated to the human spirit and gives Roark carte blanche to design it as he sees fit. Roark designs the temple, with a naked statue of Dominique, which creates the first public outcry against Howard and Stoddard is (with Toohey's encouragement) appalled at what Roark has built. Toohey further manipulates Stoddard into suing Roark for general incompetence and fraud. At Roark’s trial, every prominent architect in New York (including Keating) testifies that Roark’s style is unorthodox and illegitimate. Dominique defends Roark, but Stoddard wins the case and Roark loses his business again.

Dominique believes that greatness such as Roark's should never be offered to a public unable to appreciate it, and decides that since she cannot have the world she wants (in which men like him are recognized for what they are) she will live completely and entirely in the world she has, which shuns him and praises Keating. That evening, Dominique pays Keating a visit, and makes him a one-time offer of her hand in marriage. Keating accepts, and they are married that evening. Dominique turns her entire spirit over to Peter, hosting the dinners he wants, agreeing with him, and saying whatever he wants her to say. She fights Roark, and herds all of his potential clients over to the slowly weakening Keating. Despite this, Roark continues to attract a small but steady stream of perceptive, intelligent clients who see the value in his work.

To win Keating a prestigious architecture commission offered by Gail Wynand, the owner and editor-in-chief of the Banner, Dominique agrees to sleep with Wynand. Wynand then buys Keating's silence and a divorce for Dominique and Keating, after which Wynand and Dominique are married.

Wynand subsequently discovers that every building he likes is done by Roark, so he enlists Howard to build a home for himself and Dominique. The home is built, and Howard and Gail become great friends, though Wynand does not know about his past relationship with Dominique.

Now washed up and out of the public eye, Keating realizes he is a failure. Rather than accept retirement, he pleads with Toohey for his influence in favour of Keating to get the commission for the much sought after Cortlandt housing project. Keating knows that his most successful projects were aided by Roark, and he knows Roark is the only person who can design Cortlandt. Roark agrees to design it in exchange for complete anonymity -- and the agreement that it would be built exactly as he designed.

When Roark returns from a long yacht trip with Wynand he finds that, despite the agreement, the Cortlandt Homes project has been changed. Roark asks Dominique to distract the night watchman and dynamites the building to prevent the subversion of his vision. The entire country condemns Roark, but Wynand finally finds the courage to follow his convictions and orders his newspapers to defend him. The Banner’s circulation drops and the workers go on strike (thanks to Toohey's quiet conspiracy to "stack" the paper with those who agree with him, or those whom he can control), but Wynand keeps printing with Dominique’s help. Eventually the tide of public opinion rises against Wynand and most of his staff leaves in protest. Wynand is eventually faced with the choice of closing the paper or reversing his stance and agreeing to the union demands; he gives in, the newspaper publishes a denunciation of Roark over Wynand's signature.

At the trial, Roark seems doomed, but he rouses the courtroom with a speech about the value of ego and the need to remain true to oneself. The jury finds him not guilty. Roark marries Dominique. Wynand, who has finally grasped the nature of the "power" he thought he held, asks Roark to design one last building, a skyscraper that will testify to the supremacy of man: "Build it as a monument to that spirit which is yours...and could have been mine."

A brief epilogue eighteen months later shows the Wynand Building well on its way to completion. The last scene follows Dominique (now Mrs. Roark), entering the site to meet Roark atop the steel framework.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Where do I start? This is one of the top few books I have ever read in my life. Part of how I know that is because I could see the characters in my head as the book was being narrated, and of course, the narration was great. I bought a copy of the book so I could re-read portions before I was even done listening to it the first time. I won't pretend to be smarter than I am...I don't get everything that Rand was trying to impress on the reader yet, but I am motivated to read more sources until I do. What I did get is the alarming similarities between the works of Ellsworth Toohey and that of some media outlets today. And the caricature (did I even spell that properly?) that Peter represented as the man who couldn't form an opinion without being told what he thought by Ellsworth et al. It was also very sensuous in terms of how two people can commit to one another, and maintain it across all manners of diversity. Well, that's it for now, I expect to add to this as I learn more. ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 191 (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 (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rand, Aynprimary authorall 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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Wikipedia in English (4)

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 13 descriptions

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