Ayn Rand was a 20th century novelist and philosopher best known for her books The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, whichdepict independent, productive, heroic men and women overcoming great obstacles and achieving great heights.
Her works have sold over 20 million copies and have influenced numerous lives. For example, in a survey sponsored by the Library of Congress, Atlas Shrugged finished second only to the Bible as the book participants said had most impacted their lives. And in a 1998 Random House online poll, which drew over 217,000
respondents, Atlas Shrugged was voted the best novel of the 20th century, while The Fountainhead was voted number two. Her other two novels, Anthem and We the Living, ranked seventh and eight respectively.
Though admired by millions, Ayn Rand's ideas and ideals have also generated considerable animosity. Because her philosophic system, Objectivism, challenges the thinking of two thousand years, it consequently draws fire from several fronts. For example, liberals oppose her philosophy because it advocates self-interest and capitalism and therefore condemns collectivism and the welfare-state, while conservatives oppose her philosophy because it advocates reason and science and therefore condemns faith and religion. And moderates don't like her philosophy because it advocates absolutes and doesn't abide fence-sitting.
But whether you come to agree with Ayn Rand or not, one thing is certain: you will be a better thinker for having read her books.
To read Ayn Rand's biography click here. and visit the ARI web site.
This masterpiece dramatizes the profound moral issues behind the battle between capitalism and statism. As the inexhaustable Dagny Taggart struggles to save her railroad, she is confounded not only by the morality of self-sacrifice accepted by those around her, but also by something strange that becomes of the world's great thinkers and producers. To read an excerpt from the novel, click here: ARI's web site.
The inspiring story of an independent-minded young architect's struggle against a world that preached conformity. Howard Roark was forced to fight not only a world frightened of independence, but also the woman he loved. To read an excerpt from the novel, click here: ARI's web site.
In a world that prohibits individuality, where even the word "I" is lost, one man struggles to be unshackled from his "brothers," and in the process discovers his self.
The closest thing to an autobiography that Ayn Rand ever wrote, We the Living depicts the evils of collectivism, in this case, in Soviet Russia. Kira, a fiercely independent young woman, fights to save herself and the man she loves from the omnipresent, spirit-crushing state.