The Fountainhead

Paperback | July 29, 2008

byAyn Rand

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Ayn Rand, 1905 - 1982 Novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand was born Alice Rosenbaum on February 2, 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia. She graduated with highest honors in history from the University of Petrograd in 1924, and she came to the United States in 1926 with dreams of becoming a screenwriter. In 1929, she married actor Charles "Frank" O'Connor. After arriving in Hollywood, Rand was spotted by Cecil B. DeMille standing at the gate of his studio and gave her a job as an extra in King of Kings. She also worked as a script reader and a wardrobe girl and, in 1932, she sold Red Pawn to Universal Studios. In the 1950's, she returned to New York City where she hosted a Saturday night group she called "the collective." It was also during this time that Rand received a fan letter from a young man, Nathaniel Branden. She was impressed with his letter, and she wrote him back. Her correspondence with him eventually led to an affair that lasted over a decade. He became her chief spokesperson and codified the principles of her novels into a strict philosophical system (objectivism) and founded an institute bearing his name. Their affair ended in 1968 when Branden got involved with another one of Rand's disciples. According to Rand, people are inherently selfish and act only out of personal interest making a selfish act, a rational one. It is from this belief that her characters play out their lives. Rand's first novel was "We the Living" (1936) and was followed by "Anthem" (1938), "The Fountainhead" (1943), and "Atlas Shrugged" (1957). All four of her novels made the top ten of the controversial list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century. On March 6, 1982, Ayn Rand died in her New York City apartment.

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Ayn Rand, 1905 - 1982 Novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand was born Alice Rosenbaum on February 2, 1905 in St. Petersburg, Russia. She graduated with highest honors in history from the University of Petrograd in 1924, and she came to the United States in 1926 with dreams of becoming a screenwriter. In 1929, she married actor Charles "Fran...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:704 pages, 9 × 6.23 × 1.26 inPublished:July 29, 2008Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143195034

ISBN - 13:9780143195030

Customer Reviews of The Fountainhead


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book!! Great book for those who like characters questioning government.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reread One of my favorite books to date. Although long and very descriptive, Ayn Rand provides the reader with great insight about her philosophy through her strong and unyielding characters
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wow! Very well written, albeit a bit difficult to get through at times. Overall an excellent, thought-provoking read. So glad I picked it up!
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from sTRUGGLED THOUGH THE BOOK Not very interesting. Everyone except the main character was fighting for power.
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Fountainhead I found this book sometimes difficult to read as the character description and plot development can be intense. That being said, I have never read anything like Ms. Rand's Fountainhead. Deep yet engaging this book is thoroughly enjoyable. Full of life lessons and an interesting investigation into human nature.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fountainhead One of my top 5 books - character development and plot line like no other. Life lessons to be learned.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reading it again...:) I first picked up this book in Grade 10 and it left me puzzled, bedazzled and pondering. Reading it again three years later, I am once again drawn in by Ayn Rand's descriptive writing and detail in plot, settings and character development. Easy to read, but profound thought put into this book.
Date published: 2011-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought provoking Only recently did I stumble across this book. I wish it had been years sooner, especially when I was still at the university. Superbly written, makes the reader question the society and its pressures. The story is engrossing you can’t wait to see what will happen next, and you are often surprised. A must read for all, don’t be a second handler.
Date published: 2009-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy to read, non-patronizing philosophy The name 'Ayn Rand' is synonymous with objectivist ideas. For first time readers, Rand's philosphy focuses on man's ability to think and make choices. This book is an excellent investigation of this topic. It's easy to read with well developed characters. Not only do you learn something about people and their nature, you learn something about architecture as well. This book is a must read for students in high school or university. Though this work is an overture to Atlas Shrugged her masterpiece, I recommend reading Atlas first as the ideas and their uses in society are better explained in Atlas.
Date published: 2004-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Fountainhead Well written, contravercial novel. I really enjoyed it, the descriptions were complete but not exessive or boring. Ayn Rand is very opinionated and many of those opinions are strongly expressed in this novel through it's many characters. Howard Roark, the exact oposite of Peter Keating, is an extremely strong willed character. Very intriguing relationships, a good book!
Date published: 2001-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Fountainhead This is the book that inspired Neal Peart, of the forward thinking rock group RUSH, to write the lyrics of their 1976 album "2112". This is a must read for anyone who is aware of the psychological conditioning that society puts you through; and was born with the ability to see through the falseness of society, which is trapped within the semantics of its developed languages. I wonder if the author was inspired by the writings of Jiddu Krishnamurti?
Date published: 2000-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Challenges the reader to live up to its standards It delivers the clearest, most uncompromising message I have ever encountered in a work of fiction. I can picture Rand at work with a will and pen sharp enough to sculpt granite. The book is timeless and transcends era, culture, age, and class. This leaves a reader with nothing to consider but its central themes, that of man's ego and reason. Whether a reader becomes a critic or supporter of Rand's philosophy is a personally rewarding debate for he/she themselves to settle...The characters in the book seemed robotic and unrealistic at first, but it occurred to me later on that Rand may have been so determined and successful in her portrayal of ideal vs. scum-of-the-earth that the characters seem strange because we ourselves are so far from either end of the spectrum (to our credit and detriment). My opinion only, you'll be sure to have your own...
Date published: 1999-08-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Fails as Both Literature and Philosophy I'm torn about this book, because while I consider myself an individualist and give the highest priority to individual freedoms and achievements, I also know bad literature when I read it. "The Fountainhead" is long-winded, making its point 400 pages before it finally ends. Rand REALLY wants us to accept her shallow philosophy, though, so she keeps giving us example after example of Roark sticking to his sacred individuality, to a final, ridiculous extent. Her prose is clunky and inefficient. The characters don't talk like people, they talk like characters trying to ram significance down our throats. In the end, Rand never takes into account the joy that individuals may take from other people. She sells her ideas short by turning her hero into a completely self-absorbed lunatic. This is a second-rate novel supporting second-rate ideas. It doesn't deserve the cult following that has grown up around it.
Date published: 1999-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from no title Is this corny of me to write a review of a book I've only read once? Well, anyway, I guess I would say this is a life moving book. No, it won't drastically alter your life, just your perception of it. Every day we (meaning you and me) hear so much about "giving to the poor" and helping others, and we adhere to these demands. The Fountainhead, along with Ayn Rand and her entire philosophy of objectivism, questions society's morals and allows the individual to succeed in the end. Howard Roark's last speech is what made me buy this book. A true masterpiece...
Date published: 1999-05-13