The Philosophy Of Ayn Rand
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      Ayn Rand has gathered around herself an extraordinarily loyal complement of admirers - one might almost say a "cult" has been built. For them - this anthology of selected excerpts from her previous writings will be something in the nature of a credo. An introductory essay attempts to capsule Miss Rand's philosophy. She postulates that the species of man known to his fellows as an "intellectual" is the twin brother of the Capitalist and that both were spawned by the Industrial Revolution. The intellectual, as she views him, has been a prodigal son and has failed in the role for which he was designed, - that is to give homage to both the Industrialist and to Capitalism itself. Instead, he is Peck's Bad Boy and has ridiculed and lambasted what is, in Miss Rand's view, the sole significant and creative fact of Western civilization. This is the stuff of controversy and the author spares no one in her broadsides. On the one side she lines up her foes: -philosophically everyone but the Greeks; politically, -Communists, Socialists, and all other inhabitants of the Left; artistically, the mainstream of American literature, which has failed to accept Miss Rand's version of the American Dream; and last but not least, all that calls itself religion. Having thus corrected history, Miss Rand leaves us with a solitary figure of the Industrialist, who is truly vibrant and dynamic through his creation of wealth and comfort. He is reinforced with an ethic which the author claims restores the dignity of the human being and a true scale of values. This philosophy is called Objectivism and its morality consists of "rational self-interest". One can hardly see this taken seriously by those whose ultimate concern is philosophy. Miss Rand is primarily a novelist and it is in this genre that she is safest - and presumably most popular.

ISBN: 0451163087
Page count: 437pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1960


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