A provocative collection of speeches and essays by the controversial Rand (d. 1982; author of Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, etc.). Rand's longtime associate and literary executor, Peikoff, has collected here more than 20 of her statements on politics, art, literature, economics, and philosophy. Peikoff succinctly defines Rand's philosophy of "Objectivism" in his introduction: "Objectivism upholds capitalism in politics, on the basis of egoism in ethics, on the basis of reason in epistemology." Rand insisted that there is an objective reality, and was a passionate and convincing advocate of individual liberty. For example, in her 1968 essay "Of Living Death," Rand challenges the "mystical doctrines that underlie the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to contraception and abortion." Rand concludes, "Abortion is a moral right. . . Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to [a woman] what disposition she has to make of the functions of her own body?" In "The Inverted Moral Priorities," Rand makes a rousing defense of wealth as the source of creativity and productivity in our economy; in "The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age," she urges liberals to reclaim their intellectual heritage by returning their support to laissez-faire capitalism. Rand unabashedly celebrated the creative force of the free human mind that creates industries, science, and art out of the brute facts of nature. She believed that the US was the last, best hope of mankind, and feared that collectivist dogmas like communism and fascism were undermining America's Enlightenment heritage of individual liberty and private property. Prickly, well-articulated polemic, at times persuasive, at times infuriating: prime Rand.