Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (edition 1986)

by Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan, Robert Hessen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,120813,765 (3.8)3
This is a challenging look at modern society by Ayn Rand and some of Americas most provocative intellectuals.
Title:Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
Authors:Ayn Rand
Other authors:Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan, Robert Hessen
Info:Signet (1986), Edition: Fitst Signet Printing, 1967, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, with Additional Articles By Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan, and Robert Hessen by Ayn Rand (Author)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
In this collection of essays by [a:Ayn Rand|432|Ayn Rand|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1168729178p2/432.jpg], Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan, and Robert Hessen, one finds the Objectivist views on capitalism, conservatism, war, and altruism.

It is a cogent and well-argued defence of capitalism in the Randian sense and therefore will (as all of her works) be polarising. Yet her arguments are logical. But yet it is her dogmatism and unwavering belief in her definitions of altruism and capitalism that prove difficult to read. There are many critiques of Objectivist economic theory (but this reviewer is not an economist), but from a literary standpoint, these are well-written and argued. It is the views themselves expressed herein that will be divisive. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
Ayn Rand was once asked if she could present the essence of her philosophy while standing on one foot. She answered: Metaphysics: Objective Reality; Epistemology: Reason; Ethics: Self-interest; Politics: Capitalism. I first encountered Ayn Rand through her works of fiction as a young woman barely out of my teens. Back then I was already an atheist, one with a great belief in science and reason. There was nothing in her "metaphysics" or "epistemology" that I found the least bit surprising or controversial--indeed in essentials I already agreed with her. Her ethics and her politics were a different story. I remember reading Atlas Shrugged and thinking "you crazy bitch." But she did touch off a revolution in my thinking, changing me from a liberal to a libertarian.

Do I agree with everything within these pages? Well, let's say there is still much of it where I have doubts, and where I feel uneasy about her prescriptions. Her views are radical--and she knew it and was unapologetic about it. But at least at the time I picked this book up, I had literally never encountered her arguments. When I read it was (barely) pre-blogosphere, before the rise of talk radio or FOX News. What I knew of history and public policy from my New York City public education made Franklin Roosevelt, Jack Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson the heroes of our times. I had never heard a dissenting voice from that. I don't know that I--or readers new to this book--would find this such a fresh perspective now. But I did--and it really made me think and go read more. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Sep 27, 2013 |
A must read for anyone who wants an education in economics. ( )
  ague | May 23, 2012 |
A collection of essays written mostly by Ayn Rand, this book did a good job of getting out the over all message of Individual Rights superseding the collective.Some of the most interesting bits I found were the parallels between the arguments taking place circa the mid- to late-1960's and today; we seem to still be facing all of the arguments coming out of D.C. now that we were then. Things like the false dichotomies of "whether government should do X or Y", when the question needs to be, "should government be involved at all?"In "The Nature of Government", Rand makes a compelling case defining the role that government plays:The fundamental difference between private action and governmental action - a difference thoroughly ignored and evaded today - lies in the fact that a government holds a monopoly on the legal use of physical force.Because of this, government must be narrowly defined and tightly controlled to prevent that legal monopoly from being wielded by those with political pull to harm particular individuals or groups. In "What is Capitalism?", the argument is that pure capitalism as a system is the only social/political structure that relies solely on the rights of the individual to better themselves without resorting to the use of physical force and taking what is needed from others.In "Notes on the History of American Free Enterprise", (the lack of) these two concepts in particular are starkly portrayed with references to early American railroad systems:There were many forms of government help for these projects, such as federal land grants, subsidies, state bonds, municipal bonds, etc. A great many speculators started railroad projects as a quick means to get some government cash, with no concern for the future or the commercial possibilities of their railroads. They went through the motions of laying so many miles of shoddy rail, anywhere at all, without inquiring whether the locations they selected had any need for a railroad or any economic future. Some of those men collected the cash and vanished, never starting any railroad at all. This is the source of the popular impression that the origin of American railroads was a period of wild, unscrupulous speculation. But the railroads of this period which were planned and built by businessmen for a proper, private, commercial purpose were the ones that survived, prospered, and proved unusual foresight in the choice of their locations.In another section of the same essay, after quoting two liberal journalists decrying the corruption of the railroads who "had bought senators and congressmen, just as they bought rails and locomotives...", we are asked to identify the actual parties of the corruption: "..what could the railroads do, except try to 'own whole legislatures' if these legislatures held the power of life or death over them? What could the railroads do, except resort to bribery, if they wished to exist at all? Who was to blame and who was 'corrupt'--the businessmen who had to pay 'protection money' for the right to remain in business--or the politicians who held the power to sell that right?"Over all, I found the essays in this collection to be extremely thought provoking. Rand is utterly scathing in some instances when speaking directly about socialism and Soviet Russia, but these seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Essays by Alan Greenspan, Robert Hessen and Nathaniel Branden help to break up Rand's almost single-minded attraction to concepts covered in her book "Atlas Shrugged", and, especially those of Greenspan, bring in pointed rebukes of particular instances in which public policy, in the name of protecting the average man, has actually done more harm by eroding individual rights than good.Highly recommended for anyone interested in economics, politics and the philosophy of individualism. ( )
  joshua.pelton-stroud | Sep 22, 2009 |
This is the first book to defend Capitalism from a moral perspective as well as a practical one; it shows why Laissez Faire Capitalism is the only moral economic system. The young Alan Greenspan wrote some of the articles, including one that opposes the existence of the Federal Reserve Board. If only he had listened to his own advice. In these times where economics are an important subject to understand, this is a great introduction to the subject. I also recommend Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. ( )
  zigory | Oct 3, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rand, AynAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Branden, NathanielContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Greenspan, AlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hessen, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This Work is expanded from Ayn Rand's original collection of 18 essays, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966). First published in this expanded form in November 1967, it includes a total of twenty essays by Ayn Rand, two essays by Nathaniel Branden, three essays by Alan Greenspan, and one essay by Robert Hessen. Please distinguish between these related but different Works. Thank you.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

This is a challenging look at modern society by Ayn Rand and some of Americas most provocative intellectuals.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Collects these essays:
"What Is Capitalism?" by Ayn Rand
"The Roots of War" by Ayn Rand
"America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business" by Ayn Rand
"Antitrust" by Alan Greenspan
"Common Fallacies About Capitalism" by Nathaniel Branden
"Gold and Economic Freedom" by Alan Greenspan
"Notes on the History of American Free Enterprise" by Ayn Rand
"The Effects of the Industrial Revolution on Women and Children" by Robert Hessen
"The Assault on Integrity" by Alan Greenspan
"The Property Status of Airwaves" by Ayn Rand
"Patents and Copyrights" by Ayn Rand
"Theory and Practice" by Ayn Rand
"Let Us Alone!" by Ayn Rand
"The Anatomy of Compromise" by Ayn Rand
"Is Atlas Shrugging?" by Ayn Rand
"The Pull Peddlers" by Ayn Rand
"'Extremism,' or The Art of Smearing" by Ayn Rand
"The Obliteration of Capitalism" by Ayn Rand
"Conservatism: An Obituary" by Ayn Rand
"The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus" by Ayn Rand
"The Wreckage of the Consensus" by Ayn Rand
"The Cashing-in: The Student Rebellion" by Ayn Rand
"Alienation" by Nathaniel Branden
"Requiem for Man" by Ayn Rand
"Man's Rights" by Ayn Rand
"The Nature of Government" by Ayn Rand
Haiku summary

Legacy Library: Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Ayn Rand's legacy profile.

See Ayn Rand's author page.

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.8)
1 3
2 22
2.5 1
3 36
3.5 4
4 42
4.5 3
5 57

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 164,512,590 books! | Top bar: Always visible